Grenada will test its readiness to transition to a digital economy in July, when disbursements under its uniform and elderly assistance programmes, will transition to a digital format.
That announcement was made on Friday by Minister with responsibility for ICT, Needy Assistance and Uniform Allowance Honourable Pamela Moses during the sitting of the Lower House. She was speaking in support of the passage of the Virtual Assets Business Bill 2021, which was presented by Finance Minister Honourable Gregory Bowen.
The bill seeks to develop the legislative framework for the regulation of virtual assets and other financial technology initiatives and provide for the registration and supervision of virtual asset businesses in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU).
Minister Moses said from July, Government will commence the transition to a secure, cashless society in the digital era, with support from the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), the Royal Grenada Police Force (RGPF) and the Grenada Authority for the Regulation of Financial Institutions (GARFIN). She said, “The whole objective is to create a safe and secure, cashless society and as such, having the legal framework for virtual asset businesses, will surely assist in making our digital journey a much smoother one.”
According to Minister Moses, over 5,000 beneficiaries of the Uniform Assistance Programme and over 150 elderly citizens will be shopping without cash.
Beneficiaries of Government’s social assistance programmes will receive the Quick Response (QR) code on their mobile devices, a process Minister Moses said is quick, simple and secure. “Most of the beneficiaries already have smartphones, therefore we would send the QR codes via these devices. The code will make available to each beneficiary, only the amount that they are entitled to. They will take this QR code to the stores that sell school uniforms, and these stores will have terminals which will be used to scan the QR code from the mobile phones. If a recipient does not have a mobile phone, the Ministry will print the code on a card which can then be presented to the store.”
The digital system is quite secure as each beneficiary will have a unique QR code that stores that biodata and picture ID.