Barbados is working towards introducing a National Digital ID, which could be rolled out over the next six months.
Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley shared this information today as she spoke about the delivery economy, which has emerged significantly with the COVID-19 pandemic.
She made the comments at the OECS Commission’s Webinar, entitled: Business Unusual – Recalibrating Business and National Strategies for Economic Growth and Investment Creation.
Ms. Mottley told her audience: “The delivery economy is right now with us and we only need to nurture it…. For decades, the supermarkets were trying to do it, they never got anywhere; banks were trying to do it, they didn’t get any buy-in and all of a sudden, everybody now realises contactless commerce is here and needs to be exploited.”
The Prime Minister stressed that the momentum was there, and Barbados was trying to ensure the completion of the digital payments process within the next few months.
“So that not only matters pertaining to food but the delivery of pension cheques from our social security agencies will be a thing of the past. That we can literally have welfare benefits and child maintenance benefits and all of these things ultimately loaded on to a phone or card, depending…. We are now moving, in our own case in Barbados, to the national digital ID, which hopefully will be rolled out over the course of the next six months,” she added.
Ms. Mottley expressed the view that the region must protect the health of its citizens and its visitors in this COVID-19 environment.
She opined that the region must exploit its good track record in public health during this crisis; noting that over the years, the region had produced public health giants who made a difference regionally and globally.
The history of the Caribbean’s interaction with public health must be shared with the world, she suggested, so persons could understand why it is well placed to offer health tourism.
Ms. Mottley said the region had the capacity to be stronger but needed to use its voice definitively.
She noted that voting for the seat on the UN Security Council takes place today and various countries had met with Caribbean countries.
“But we have not been able to extract as a single unit the kind of help and assistance that would give the region that competitive advantage to go forward, because we don’t act as one. We act in a divided way and therefore we are not responded to as a single global force of 15 states,” she stated.