WiPay CEO and founder Aldwyn Wayne said the company intended to send a proposal to Social Development and Family Planning Minister Donna Cox next week for the establishment of a public-private partnership to distribute grants.
He said the organization had secured a $1.2 million grant from US bank Color Bank to help the government implement the program.
At a press conference at WiPay’s Picton Street, Port of Spain office on Thursday, Wayne said the initiative would pose no financial risk to the government.
“WiPay would fund $1.2 million to develop the app, roll out the hardware to all participating sites, train staff, and run the system until the government sees fit. ‘to acquire.
“This proposal is non-binding so that at the end of the pilot, if accepted, the government can choose whether or not to continue the program. The value, the reason why WiPay has put this proposal on the table, is that the government can get first-hand insight into what technology can do to help close the loopholes that exist in our distribution programs across all departments.
He said Color Bank is a new bank established in the United States specifically to serve the needs of diaspora communities. He said Caribbean passports can be used to open accounts without needing a social security number.
Wayne said after an article in a daily newspaper about bribes and illegal dealings within the department, he saw an opportunity to deliver additional value to the government. He explained how it would work.
“The ministry provides names, phone numbers and ID cards or any other unique identifiers they may have. Once entered into the system, a unique code is generated for that person and only for that person, and it is sent to their phone free of charge.
“When they visit one of the participating grocery stores, gas stations or supermarkets, they scan the code on our WiPay terminal, and the ID card or other unique identifier will appear.
“So I can’t pick up your phone and use your grant because your face will show up, so that’s the validation we’ll have. Once you’ve made that payment, you log in to the screen. That’s now saved in the system and the ministry can immediately see that you have received your grant at the store, and the store will then submit its payment list to the ministry.
Wayne said the government would deposit the grant money into a custodial account, and once a grocery store sends in its accounting, WiPay would initiate an automated payment from the custodial fund clearing house to the grocery store.
He said companies should be more willing to participate in the scheme as this method should eliminate the usual delay in receiving government payments.
He said the company had similar programs in place in Grenada and Jamaica and, to his knowledge, there had been no cases of fraud, bribes or illegal transactions.
He said that in TT, organizations and initiatives such as Living Water, Court Pay and police departments have successfully used WiPay programs for years.
Asked if he thought the government was more likely to agree to these solutions now that there had been pilot programs since 2020, Wayne said during his appearance at a joint select committee meeting On Friday last week, government and opposition politicians seemed ready to embrace the technology. , and he had several follow-up conversations.
Wayne previously said that WiPay has encountered difficulties in implementing systems in government departments due to misunderstandings about the role and services offered by the organization as a financial technology (fintech) company.