Caribbean News Now!

About Us Contact Us

Countries/Territories

Jump to your country or territory of interest

Advertise with us

Reach our daily visitors from around the Caribbean and throughout the world. Click here for rates and placements.

Contribute

Submit news and opinion for publication

Subscribe

Click here to receive our daily regional news headlines by email.

Archives

Click here to browse our extensive archives going back to 2004

Also, for the convenience of our readers and the online community generally, we have reproduced the complete Caribbean Net News archives from 2004 to 2010 here.

Climate Change Watch

The Caribbean is especially vulnerable to rising sea levels brought about by global warming. Read the latest news and information here...

Follow Caribbean News Now on Twitter
Connect with Caribbean News Now on Linkedin
Instagram



News from the Caribbean:



Send us your e-mails with commentary and opinion on subjects relevant to the Caribbean.
Please include your name, city and country of residence.

Note: Views and opinions expressed in commentary or opinion pieces do not necessarily reflect the editorial position of Caribbean News Now! or its publisher.
Caribbean News Now! further reserves the right to edit for brevity and presentation.





Opinion
Prev    Next
Commentary: Tourism Matters: Surely the technology exists already
Published on July 10, 2017Email To Friend    Print Version

By Adrian Loveridge

After going through a seemingly complex ‘hoops and hurdles’ experience that certainly could not win any user friendly awards, I just wonder if our ‘local’ financial institutions have not missed out in a massive way to assist small businesses to grow and attract additional foreign exchange earnings for the country?

adrian_loveridge4.jpg
Adrian Loveridge has spent 46 years in the tourism industry across 67 countries, as a travel agent, tour director, tour operator and for the last 24 years as a small hotel owner on Barbados. He served as a director of the Barbados Hotel and Tourism Association, and as chairman of the Marketing Committee. He also served as a director of the Barbados Tourism Authority and is a frequent writer on tourism
We recently tried to set up an e-commerce platform to allow payments of relatively small amounts (under BDS$200 per transaction) to be paid online by credit or debit cards.

Of course, we approached a conventional bank, but the documentation required was simply beyond anything that could be deemed reasonable and, even if we took the hours required to amass all the requested prerequisite items, it then still needed an in-person visit to the branch, despite being a customer with that bank for years and our accounting history and identity was known to them.

Secondly, we tried with PayPal, but that required a third party merchant to process the transactions. Almost at the point of giving up, one more try with Canadian-based Shopify and while this was not without its challenges, I have to say that was countered with a customer service response that must stand out as a global model for many organisations to imitate.

Shopify was founded in 2004 by the owners of an online snowboarding store who sound like they were then having the same challenges as us.

In 2010, Shopify started a ‘Building-A-Business’ competition in which participants could create a business using its ecommerce platform.

The winners of the competition received cash prizes and mentorship from entrepreneurs like Sir Richard Branson (Virgin Group) and Eric Ries, author of The Lean Start Up.

Recently the company reported that it now has more than 400,000 merchants with total gross merchandise volume revenue exceeding US$34 billion annually.

In 2015, the company went public with an initial public offering (IPO) on the New York Stock Exchange and Toronto Stock Exchange, offering a share price of US$17.

When trading started, the shares quickly reached US$28 or 60 percent higher than the offer price. The IPO raised more than US$131 million.

Our larger companies here (Barbados) have their own established connections where financial transactions of greater proportions can easily be facilitated, but if we really want our smaller businesses and entrepreneurs to grow and flourish, the big banks need to look carefully at ways they can help this sector.

We can all understand that banks should not be in the risk business, despite the many revelations over the last decade or so, but there are insurable ways to mitigate any, if not all risk.

If I recall correctly, there was an attempt to launch a mobile credit or debit card wireless processor locally, like the highly successful Square or Sum-Up in other major markets, but have certainly not heard much more about it here.

Surely, all the technology exists already, with a major communications entity constantly boasting they have the most extensive and fastest coverage using fibre?
 
Reads : 3627






Click here to receive daily news headlines from Caribbean News Now!



Back...

Comments:

No comments on this topic yet. Be the first one to submit a comment.

Back...

Send us your comments!  

Send us your comments on this article. All fields are required.

For your contribution to reach us, you must (a) provide a valid e-mail address and (b) click on the validation link that will be sent to the e-mail address you provide.  If the address is not valid or you don't click on the validation link, it will be a waste of your time typing your submission because we will never see it!

Your Name:

Your Email:

(Validation required)

Comments:
Enter Code *

 


Prev    Next

 






Other Headlines:



Regional Sports: