A few years on I am now the VP at Chamber, and still trying to progress the issue, which has worsened.
It is an issue members have raised with Chamber many times, and recently we carried out a wide-reaching survey to gather the data. The survey confirmed that Guernsey businesses are hampered by the lack of availability of global payment systems, and more than half of the businesses which responded reported issues with the lack of major international market leader payment systems such as Stripe and GoCardless. It further identified these were the key platforms that were ideally required by local businesses, due to their universality and integration with other platforms and systems as market leaders.
So payment platform issues were the driver for my becoming so involved with Chamber, and a key issue I would love to see addressed. That said my concern is this is no easy task, and Guernsey is not an easy jurisdiction for these platforms to expand into.
It is though pleasing to see real engagement from the committee for Economic Development on this issue this term, and hopefully at last we will be able to make some traction.
Guernsey should be an amazing place to do business from, but the reality is barriers such as this exist making entrepreneurial life hard for Guernsey businesses, whatever size the business.
To take the words from a Locate Guernsey brochure:
“Guernsey has an entrepreneurial history, from ship building and quarrying to horticulture and fisheries. Innovation continues to be a key part of Guernsey’s success. Today, government and industry are working together to develop the island’s FinTech and digital sectors.”
We must therefore act together now, to ensure there are no barriers to these developing sectors, and at the same time also help all the established local businesses who also wish to be able to easily collect payments online and trade on a level playing field with businesses across the water.
The latest edition of Contact Magazine can be obtained for free from Waitrose, or from the Chamber of Commerce’s Offices in the Inner Market.
The Spring 2021 edition, from which this article is taken, is available for online viewing here.