Island Pay enters Barbados, heads for 100K users

October 12, 2022

On October 4, the company announced its expansion into Barbados with the launch of its digital wallet and first transaction kiosk, located at the Constitution River Bus Terminal in the city.

‍Through Island Pay Barbados, the public can send and receive funds, pay bills with SurePay and top-up with Flow and Digicel smartphones using both a digital wallet and physical kiosks at select locations. They can also fund their wallet and withdraw physical cash from their Island Pay account at the kiosk.

‍Chief Executive Officer Douglas noted that, "We launched in The Bahamas in 2019 and completed $121 million in payments last year and have onboarded 15 per cent of the population as customers. We hope to do the same in Barbados."

In a recent update, Douglas told the Jamaica Observer, "We have about 51,000 total users of our solutions [mobile wallets, Mastercard products, Sand Dollar wallets] currently.

Island Pay allows individuals, businesses and governments to pay for goods and services as well as send, transfer and receive funds electronically using their mobile phones and other low-priced access mediums.

The fintech was the first to receive a licence as a payment service provider and Electronic Money Institution by the Central Bank of The Bahamas, and is now supporting large-scale payments distributions for the Government of Bahamas.

Its range of transactions today include mobile top-up and plan sales, person-to-person transfers, merchant transactions, bill payment, bank transfer, Mastercard transactions, deposit to account, withdraw from account, government payments and salary payments.

Douglas, who was born and educated in Canada, transitioned from roles as CTO and co-founder of Secure Hosting after years of residence in Canada and then The Bahamas. He is both a data security and privacy protection expert. Island Pay, which he co-founded in 2018, is aimed at "revolutionising the way people across the Caribbean use and access money", its founders say.

The company processed US$121 million in payments in 2021, US$60 million of which were government payments.

Douglas outlined, "Customers enjoy the option to deposit and withdraw to their mobile wallets. They are also actively loading the Sand Dollar CBDC and adding funds to their prepaid Mastercard accounts."

Cash from the app comes by way of wallet-to-wallet transfers, Sand Dollar transfers, bank transfers and ATM withdrawal options.

As time passes, the company is continuing to place heavy emphasis on marketing and customer education. Douglas told the Caribbean Business Report, "We are actively educating young people on the benefits of a mobile wallet, and how to manage their finances and spending using digital money. We are also encouraging tourists to use mobile wallets when they visit The Bahamas to transact with smaller merchants who might not accept credit/debit cards.

The CEO was reticent on returns, but shared, "Although our goal is to provide access to modern financial services to everyone in the Caribbean, with low or no fees, we are also a private business that needs to earn profits to pay our staff and operating expenses."

The company is expecting to gain traction from areas that are currently underserved or lack accessible financial services infrastructure, by delivering "a convenient, secure and low-cost digital payments solution."

The company notes that Island Pay offers consumers access to wallet accounts year round to perform a wide range of every day financial service needs.

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