Monday 26 October, 2020

B’dos FinTech company seeks to transform local financial sector

Dave Sahadath, Director of Business Development (and co-founder of GIFTS) presents at Tuesday's Launch and Learn event at the Hyatt Regency, Trinidad and Tobago.

Dave Sahadath, Director of Business Development (and co-founder of GIFTS) presents at Tuesday's Launch and Learn event at the Hyatt Regency, Trinidad and Tobago.

Regional financial technical solutions company Global Integrated FinTech Solutions (GIFTS) is ready to take its banking solutions to the world, but beginning here in the Caribbean.

The Barbados-based company’s first stop is Trinidad, where it’s offering its advanced technological innovations to local credit unions to ensure they are positioned for success in the financial environment.

At a breakfast meeting at the Hyatt Regency on Tuesday, representatives of the credit union and TT financial sector learnt about GIFTS core banking solution which can facilitate internet banking, credit/debit card processing, electronic payments and its One Caribbean debit card.

The features are available without the high development and integration costs associated with similar offerings in the Caribbean market. Among them, GIFTS Integrated Switch, provides local, regional and international connectivity for credit unions. GIFTS is the authorised representative of the Quatrro Group and International Financial Systems (ifinancial), SumeruEntiger and Fernhill Associates in the Caribbean and Latin America.

A total of 75 local credit unions and other financial institutions formed part of the integral session, where local credit unions were also introduced to the opportunity to minimise operational and overhead costs, especially given that regulators are becoming increasingly aware of Anti Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) issues.

The financial institutions present were advised to adopt state of the art solutions to successfully compete and advance their operations. 

Attendees were given a preview of world class financial services platform which facilitates AML, KYC, e-payments, card management, how to cope with ever increasing compliance requirements, cybersecurity, driving efficiency and reducing costs through technology and next generation technology solutions and delivery; solutions that can help credit unions remain relevant and attractive to the internet generation and millennials.  

Introducing GIFTS, Geron Burnett, Manager of Financial Markets Development at the Trinidad and Tobago International Financial Centre (TTIFC) said he was pleased that GIFTS opted to introduce and deliver their world class financial technology to T&T first, as it was proof that its financial systems were completely secure, dynamic and accessible.

He reminded the participants that the TTIFC’s mandate was to continuously assist with economic diversification by facilitating the development of the financial services sector, which is the 5th highest contributor to GDP and employs approximately nine percent of the country’s labour force.

Brenda Pope, Chief Project Officer, GIFTS emphasised that every transaction is double checked for fraudulent activities.

“The company enables LMFIs to process debit card transactions on the same system currently utilized by Fortune Global 500 companies.  Clients can also deploy AML tracking software which is used by Dow Jones and leading merchant banks in the Cayman Islands, Isle of Man and other global offshore domiciles.” 

Meanwhile, Dave Sahadath, Director of Business Development (and co-founder of GIFTS) assured that the regulatory process as it relates to the One Caribbean Card will be in place and supported by the Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago.

“Anytime we enter into a market, we do so by engaging the regulators which is very important. We are currently in the process of getting the necessary approvals with the Central Bank and we felt it necessary to inform the financial institutions that our software is available. I am confident that we will get the regulatory approvals since our software has been built to world class standards.”

He explained that the card enables payments from the diaspora to several member institutions and is supported and accepted by indigenous institutions throughout the Caribbean, allowing the Caribbean region to fulfil its CARICOM Single Market and Economy (CSME) dream “by implementing this sort of payment without the dependence on international brands.”

He also noted it supported Caribbean cross remittances in local currencies while having all the features of an international card.

The card utilises the latest technology of EMV (Europay, MasterCard® and Visa®), and adheres to the highest standard of security certification.

Sahadath stressed that the cost associated with implementation will be affordable, as GIFTS aims to provide solutions tailored to each individual institution, rather than a one-size fits all policy.

“What we offer are solutions aimed at combatting high implementation costs, and a low spend operating model that takes advantage of timely upgrades. Our solutions open up new revenue streams to users that in a large part are available, but not utilised in the Caribbean.

Additionally, as AML and KYC issues become more frequent touchpoints in the financial conversation, GIFTS provides an Anti-Money Laundering module, a piece of software currently in use at Dow Jones, which enables an AML/CTF project team to deliver the required level of monitoring and reporting with a full audit trail in a cost-effective way.”

Participants at Tuesday’s conference were able to preview the world-class financial services platform technology used by GIFTS and were able to interact with members of the team to determine whether GIFTS can transform their business by integrating end-to-end solutions into their daily tasks.

One major local credit union has already invited the company to speak to their managerial team on the possibility of utilising the software.

Speaking with LoopTT Sahadath said GIFTS solutions are for all.

“We want to create a culture of inclusiveness in electronic payments, so whether you are a micro-entrepreneur or a larger company of scale, we feel that out solutions are made for everyone.”

“The whole thing now is to showcase what is possible and we also paint a picture of showing these smaller institutions the ability, in other words, we don’t just want to put you on the same footing with the bigger guys, but we actually want to put you in a position where you can leapfrog them in terms of some of the services we will be offering.”


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