Minister in the Ministry of Finance Brian Manning says T&T has the potential to become the hemispheric hub of technology services.
Manning was speaking at the official launch of ANSA Bank’s Digital Touchpoint and Digital Financial Space initiative at Gulf City Mall in La Romain yesterday.
“Technology and digitalisation are the future of Trinidad and Tobago. May I say one day, and hopefully soon, Trinidad and Tobago will become the hemispheric hub for technology services. We have the resources, we have the people, we have the infrastructure. Let’s get it done together,” Manning said.
Noting that reconsidering how banking is done locally is a challenge for all leaders within the financial services centre, he commended ANSA Bank’s thrust in modernising its banking experience.
ANSA Bank is wholly owned by ANSA Merchant Bank, which is a member of the ANSA McAL Group of Companies. Manning pointed out that data show that the local appetite for technology and mobile communication corresponds favourably with Government’s national thrust for digital transformation and fintech adoption.
“In fact, as of January 2021, there were an estimated 940,000 active social media accounts, and almost 84 per cent of our country’s population actively utilised internet services. The statistics for mobile connections, quoted at 1.9 million, are even more remarkable. T&T’s telecommunications infrastructure is extremely advanced in contrast to the other nations of Latin America. Global trends also show that the financial services sector is moving towards digital banking to reduce expenses, enhance customer service, and increase efficiency. Banks are investing heavily in technology,” explained Manning.
He said fostering an inclusive digital financial economy in the country is paramount to improving security, purchasing power, revenue generation, and access to key credit facilities for all people, especially the underbanked and vulnerable groups that account for 20 per cent of the adult population.
“To rethink banking is a clarion call for us as leaders within the financial services sector to put financial inclusion into focus to ensure all citizens have access to the tools and resources they need to secure their economic well-being.” Manning said the Ministry of Finance, in the coming months, will establish a FinTech Innovation Hub through the State-owned Trinidad and Tobago International Financial Centre, to address financial inclusion and promote additional innovation within the local FinTech sector.
In her remarks, ANSA Bank’s managing director, Kathleen Galy, said, “Following on the launch of the ANSA Bank’s state-of-the-art contact centre in December 2022, today, we open our first, new digitally enabled branch, which embraces our belief that the future of lasting customer relationships must go hand-in-hand with digital prowess.
Galy added, “This opening is the second release of several digital touchpoints in our omni-channel experience. The same advantage to be free to create anything without legacy constraints, presents an equal-sized disadvantage… that is, the time it takes to build the foundation to ensure we get it right.”
ANSA Bank chairman, David Dulal-Whiteway, said the group chose a new banking model for the bank based on a digital-first strategy, creating avenues for customers to access their financial assets and savings, safely and easily.”
Acknowledging that banking has become complicated over the years, he said it is not easy for customers to do business with banks.
“Just think of how difficult it is to open a new bank account! It is ANSA Bank’s intention to create breakthroughs in the critical customer facing processes. We will be easy to do business with as we remove all unnecessary bureaucratic hurdles faced by our customers. In addition, they will find well-trained, empowered staff, all geared towards satisfying the needs of the public.”
He added that it is ANSA Bank’s intention to reinvent every aspect of banking.