Why is the Caribbean still behind in conducting digital transactions online?

Without a doubt, the Caribbean still behind in conducting digital transactions online. We offer a few reasons why that is the case.

In its 2016 study on Internet security and trust, the Centre for International Governance Innovation, a non-partisan think-tank, found that “a significant percentage of Internet users do not trust the Internet enough to conduct financial transactions online” (Source: Caribbean News Now). That finding was the springboard for the views expressed by Ms Rhea Yaw Ching, Executive Director of the Covela Foundation, at the Caribbean Peering and Interconnection Forum (CarPIF), which was held in Sint Maarten last week.

The main thrust of her talk was the relationship between digital literacy and financial inclusion:

There is a direct correlation between digital literacy and financial inclusion…

Sixty-five percent of the Caribbean population is unbanked, meaning that they are predominantly cash-based. And a further 20 percent are underbanked, meaning that they under-utilise the financial services that do exist.

(Source: Caribbean News Now)

The above views and the data presented are not new. However, they do beg the question, what might at the root of it all? Below, we highlight three likely contributors.

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