Have you ever wondered why when it comes to technological advancements in the Caribbean, it seems like we are at a standstill? It’s 2011 but yet, we as a Caribbean region are still years behind; left to play catch up in a race that has already been won by the rest of the world.
It’s crystal clear that in my 23 years of consuming air (some have been around longer and can tell a better tale) nothing significant has happened from the introduction of the color television to now. We continue to hear of all the technological occurrences, inventions, innovations, startups etc. in the news, and around the globe, but sadly there is hardly anything, in terms of technological advancements, about us. Are we as Caribbean people still stuck in the Stone Age? Why are we still limited to only selling goods and services in our back yard and across the street? While we continue to consume many items from other regions, don’t we have anything to sell to the world around us?
In search of a Payment Gateway
Earlier this week, I began a journey in search of acquiring merchant services and a payment gateway for an application which my company Caribonix is soon to begin developing. I soon found out that there were many great challenges ahead. At some point in time while we Caribbean people were asleep, somebody built a massive, invisible wall around the individual Caribbean islands and around the Caribbean region as an entirety, separating them from each other and us from the rest of the world. Unfortunately, this has made e-commerce a nightmare for local businesses seeking to enter into the global space and benefit from the power of the internet.
That was a tough bullet for me to bite on, needless to say. However, I soon came across an article written by fellow entrepreneur Marc Gayle entitled “Building A Webapp Tailored To Designers – Part 1.” The article entailed how he was able to overcome these “Caribbean invisible walls” thus enabling his application CompVersions to process credit card payments, obtain merchant services etc. His journey, which he fully accounted for in the article, was not a simple one but he succeeded, giving me new found hope and an energizing vigor.
With my blue print in hand and the question of why are we the “bubble boy” of the world? On my mind, my journey across the thousand seas once again began from calling banks to calling merchants. Where will I end up? Only in time will we know…
In my next post, I will continue to share with you some of my experiences in obtaining merchant services in Trinidad &Tobago. You can read Mark’s article list above, to find out what he had to overcome from a Jamaican perspective.
Oudin Samuel, is our latest addition to guest blogger at SiliconCaribe.com, he’s the Managing Director of
Caribonix , a Trinidadian Technology company.