Digital banking planned for Family Islanders

The government has confirmed its intent to modernize banking for Family Islanders Tuesday in the wake of a shift in the economic climate on the islands, due to the recent pull-out of major banking institutions.

Finance Minister Peter Turnquest revealed Tuesday that government is aggressively moving toward digitizing the banking experience for Family Island residents.

“The truth of the matter is that Family Islanders don’t usually borrow as much as people here in the city, or people in Freeport, so the operation of a brick and mortar institution in these islands is really costly for these banks,”Turnquest explained.

“However, we do recognize also that in order for Family Islands to grow, they need access to financial institutions to make deposits. Businesses that need credit will need to have easy credit facilitation. So, we are looking at a number of possible solutions; namely electronic banking solutions.”

It was back in January that Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) announced the closure of a number of branches within the Family Islands.

Managing Director of RBC Caribbean Banking for the Northern Caribbean Nathaniel Beneby, in a letter wrote that, “RBC is on an ongoing journey of transformation and innovation in the Caribbean, and around the world. As part of this journey, our organizational structure, banking solutions for clients, our processes to deliver solutions, and our physical network will continue to evolve.”

“These efforts are designed to bring us closer to our clients, by giving them the ability to bank with us more easily through an array of physical and digital channel options.”

Turnquest noted yesterday that digitizing banking within Family Islands is in the not so distant future.

“We are looking at encouraging digital banking, making these communities primarily cashless, investing in technology to facilitate the ease of doing business in the community as well as transferring money back and forth in a digital, cashless way,”  Turnquest suggested.