Like many other countries, TT has experienced a major shift in banking and other financial services in recent years with more consumers transitioning to digital platforms to conduct business.
With that in mind, the THA Division of Finance and the Economy’s Financial Literacy unit held its 3rd financial literacy breakfast meeting at the Magdalena Grand Beach and Golf Resort on Thursday, themed “the mobile banking and payments revolution…strengthening financial inclusion, trust and protection in an increasingly digital world”.
Addressing those gathered, the Division’s Administrator, Denese Toby-Quashie said the now annual financial education breakfast meeting started in 2017 as a mechanism for informing financial consumers in Tobago on important developments and financial trends that can affect their everyday lives.
She said: “With the widespread use of financial digital technologies to conduct daily financial and business transactions across our country, the Division found it essential to ensure financial consumers and entrepreneurs are well prepared to fully embrace the benefits of these technologies whilst still considering the risk.”
Secretary of the Division and Deputy Chief Secretary, Joel Jack in his remarks indicated that the now annual financial education breakfast meeting has become one of the Division’s signature events during the annual Finance Month celebrations.
“It is also part of our commitment to enhance the general financial education of Tobago, thereby empowering them to make more wise and informed financial and business decisions.”
The breakfast meeting, he said was aptly themed, as mobile banking and payment revolution was increasingly changing the way customers interact with the financial system.
“Its convenience and cost effectiveness have provided financial consumers and businesses with a seamless platform for conducting financial transactions from anywhere in the world and at any time. The conveniences and benefits of mobile banking are evident in our daily operations as we are no longer required to face long lines to transfer funds, check account balances and to pay bills.
"These platforms have also benefited financial institutions by reducing transaction cost while increasing customer engagement and retention. Due to the paperless nature of mobile banking, there is the additional benefit of being environmentally friendly.”
The Secretary added: “Your cellphone… just a tool initially to make and receive calls, has moved then to become your primary camera, soon it was able to perform functions similar to your computer; and now your cellphone… it is your bank, it is your electronic wallet and soon it would be the most convenient device to pay for goods and services.”
Jack said even as people embrace the mobile banking and payment revolution, consumers must remain vigilant to ensure that they do not fall victims to any of the associated risks.
He extended his gratitude to the financial representatives present for the support and engagement, adding that throughout the years, the banking community and financial sector have been quite supportive of the Assembly’s goal to improve not only financial education but financial literacy.
“We remain open and committed to collaborating with all stakeholders in the financial and business community as we continue to work towards fulfilling our mandate of increasing the overall levels of financial literacy, here in Tobago, and to continue to empower and liberate Tobagonians.
Finance Month activities continue tomorrow with the Tobago Business and Economic Outlook conference and Friday’s Youth Empowerment Forum, both of which will again be held at the Magdalena Grand Beach and Golf Resort, Lowlands.