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The Mona Campus of The University of the West Indies became the first educational institution within the island and the first in the UWI network to offer an electronic commerce facility when the system was officially launched at the Undercroft of the Senate building on the campus on Thursday, December 2. E-commerce, or electronic commerce, means conducting business online. Phase one of the new facility will offer to students the flexibility of paying fees and paying for transcript applications online, and also to donors and alumni the convenience of making their donations to the institution online, using a regular Mastercard or Visa credit card or the local NCB Keycard. These facilities will be easily accessible from the campus homepage at http://www.mona.uwi.edu

The E-Commerce facility is a joint effort between the Mona Information Technology Services (MITS), the UWI Bursary, and the National Commercial Bank (NCB). The two main providers of financial services on the campus, the UWI Mona and Community Cooperative Credit Union and NCB were also present at the launch to give financial advice to staff and students.

Speaking at the ceremony, Chief Information Officer at the UWI, Mr. Carlton Samuels said that introduction of the e-commerce facility was another step in the ongoing efforts to improve business operations on the campus and to make them more student centered. He noted that the new system was a convenient way for the students to transact business as it would be neither time bound nor location bound. Students would therefore be able to make payments at their own convenience, thereby reducing the long lines at the bank and the Bursary cashiers that have become a feature of the beginning of each semester when payments have to be made. He added that the E-commerce system will provide a history of each transaction and users will receive notification via email once the transaction is completed.

Mr. Samuels stated that in Phase Two of the implementation process, students and others would be able to make purchases on line and also pay other kinds of fees.

Guest speaker at the ceremony was former President of the Guild of Students, Miss Annicia Gayle, who welcomed the implementation of the e-commerce system. She reflected on her days as a student and the difficulties associated with making payments and commended the UWI on this initiative which, she noted, would make life much easier for the student body.

The function was chaired by Campus Registrar, Mr. G.E.A. Falloon and Campus Bursar, Mrs. Elaine Robinson gave the vote of thanks. Also associated with the ceremony were Campus Webmaster, Mr. Noel Kelly; Manager, MITS-Applications, Miss Doreen Mallett; the Managing Director of the Credit Union, Mr. Micah Davis, and NCB’s Acting Deputy Managing Manager, Customer Experience Management (CEM) Division, Mr. Heston Hutton.

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