CARIB | Mar 24, 2023

WiPay’s ‘Cashless Carnival’ initiative takes centre stage

/ Our Today

Reading Time: 3 minutes

According to the IDB, the Caribbean’s informal economy accounts for 35 per cent to 40 per cent of GDP in most territories, with Trinidad and Tobago’s informal economy estimated at 31.6 per cent of its GDP, equivalent to roughly US$12 billion.

The CSO reports that Trinidad earned nearly US$1 billion from 78,000 visitors who spent an average of US$2,000 during a five-day period. However, various support industries such as food vendors, beauty practitioners, tour operators, cook shops, artisans, and bars are unable to accept card payments, oftentimes resulting in missed sales opportunities.

With this in mind, WiPay, a Caribbean payment solutions company, says it has taken action through its ‘Cashless Carnival’ initiative.


For the 2023 Trinidad Carnival season, WiPay deployed more than 100 smart terminals in locations frequented by Carnival goers, offering payment solutions for underbanked merchants and vendors.

WiPay’s smart terminals accept tap-to-pay options like Apple Pay and Google Pay, as well as card-present solutions from MasterCard, Visa, American Express, and Discover, which is a regional first. This enables merchants and vendors the ability to accept payments from over 327 million Apple Pay and Google Pay users, as well as the millions of individuals utilising American Express and Discover cards.

WiPay’s goal is to tangibly drive financial inclusion and close the gap between consumers and missed sales across the region in piggy-backing on Carnival. The Cashless Carnival Initiative empowers merchants and vendors to easily accept new forms of payment and thrive in the rapidly expanding digital economy.

Kibwe McGann, chief marketing officer of WiPay Group.

To date, WiPay has processed more than 40,000 cashless transactions and millions of TTD during the Trinidad Carnival season.

“When you go to the bars during the fetes, that’s WiPay. When you purchase tickets online, that’s WiPay. We already have a few street vendors using WiPay’s smart terminals as part of a pilot promotion. In the future, we want to be able to say that when you buy street food from a small vendor, that’s WiPay,” said Kibwe McGann, chief marketing officer of WiPay Group.

“Our objective has been to identify and address the needs of both consumers and merchants by developing tailored solutions. As we close the gap, we will bridge the hole between missed sales and willing consumers.”

“Jamaica represents the second-greatest opportunity in the Carnival space and provides a real chance for WiPay to make an impact.”

Kibwe McGann, chief marketing officer of WiPay Group

Next on the Cashless Carnival calendar is Carnival in Jamaica. WiPay has already secured exclusive rights for cashless payments with GenXS Carnival Band and all its events, as well as the Caribbean Airlines title-sponsored event, WiFETE, of which WiPay is also a partner.

“Jamaica represents the second-greatest opportunity in the Carnival space and provides a real chance for WiPay to make an impact. Tourism is the island’s biggest earner and economic driver. However, the ability to accept cashless payments outside of brick-and-mortar establishments is virtually non-existent, creating a market opportunity for WiPay to deliver value and have the greatest impact,” added McGann.

Established in 2017, WiPay is a leading payment solutions provider across the Caribbean, with a presence in 10 territories, including the US and Columbia, and nine African territories.

WiPay offers a wide range of online and offline payment solutions and is at the forefront of driving innovation in the payments industry across the Caribbean region.


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