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Paper Receipts to Become Obsolete Move To a Paperless Age
Wednesday, 10 August 2011 11:47

At an Old Navy store in Manhattan the other day, Fabienne Michel made a routine purchase of khaki shorts. But she left the store without something equally routine: her receipt.

The sales clerk had sent it to Ms. Michel by e-mail. "It’s easier," said Ms. Michel, a 30-year-old nurse. "You can reprint it, save it, make folders in your e-mail."

To the rubbish pile that the Internet is creating, alongside the road maps, newspapers and music CDs, add one more artifact of consumer life, the paper receipt.

Major retailers, including Whole Foods Market, Nordstrom, Gap Inc. (which owns Old Navy and Banana Republic), Anthropologie, Patagonia, Sears and Kmart, have begun offering electronic versions of receipts, either e-mailed or uploaded to password-protected Web sites. And more and more customers, the retailers report, are opting for paperless.

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Mall Owners Now Utilizing Smart Mall Technology

The world's largest mall owners are harnessing digital technology to stem an erosion in their tenant base by online retailing and keep shoppers coming.

London-based Hammerson Plc plans to use software that tracks visitors to its malls using the signal from their mobile phones. Australia's Westfield Group Ltd. has set up a virtual mall and landlords Simon Property Group Inc. of Indianapolis and Paris-based Unibail-Rodamco SE, are encouraging shoppers to add new and more sophisticated smartphone applications.

"The big beasts of the jungle are showing that they are alive, ready and willing to embrace these trends," said Joshua Bamfield, director of Newark, England-based Centre for Retail Research. For some town-center shopping streets and smaller retail centers, "it's another nail in the coffin."

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Mango Card New Bahamas Payment Alternative

A cashless alternative for Bahamians is catching on well with Bahamians according to an executive of the Mango Card company.

According to Chief Executive Officer for Mango Shaker Rawan, over 8,500 customers have subscribed to the service and more than $800,000 worth of economic activity has occurred since the card’s launch at the start of the year.

Rawan told The Nassau Guardian yesterday that part of the reason why the card has become popular among locals is because of its multi-purpose use, which gives it an advantage over other competitors in the market.

"From the consumer perspective is our ability to package a lot of services on the same product, so those kinds of valuable services the other [card companies] cannot offer because the platforms are not really owned by them," Rawan said. "We provide a lot of valuable services for the consumer that they need to use, so the basket of services is much more wider."

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Bahamas Financial Services Looking to E-govt for Competitive Boost

E-government can lend cachet to The Bahamas’ financial services industry, in some regards putting the sector on equal footing with key global players, according to an industry leader.

Critical will be the extent to which the Registrar General’s Department (RGD), particularly the companies registry, is able to optimize performance through the new e-portal, according to Chairman of the Bahamas Financial Services Board (BFSB) Paul Winder. He told Guardian Business once the registry is fully incorporated into the new e-government service, it will bring a cutting-edge advantage to the jurisdiction, so long as the website’s promises are delivered on.

“It brings an ease of doing business to The Bahamas -- the speed, access, and having everything that you have to do laid out,” Winder said recently. “So it brings clarity to processes and I think it will increase the reach both from within The Bahamas and externally.” “I think it will give us a comparative advantage over other jurisdictions.”

According to Winder, efficient online access with speedy execution and responses, “backing up what is on the website” as he described it, will better equip the jurisdiction to compete with some of the key players in the world.

The RGD was a trailblazer in the local move to e-government – one of the first agencies that had online services according to Carol Roach, project manager for the e-government project team. State Minister of Finance Zhivargo Laing told Guardian Business after the new portal launch, that the companies section of the RGD should have the full benefits of the new e-government service in short order.

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E-Government Platform to Boost Revenues

THE GOVERNMENT'S newly-launched $10.2 million e-services platform will transform the Bahamas into "a more business friendly jurisdiction", the minister of state for finance said yesterday, with increased Treasury revenues among the "significant" potential benefits. Zhivargo Laing told Tribune Business that the ease of paying due taxes and fees online might encourage some businesses and entrepreneurs, who had previously baulked at putting payments in the mail or going to the relevant agencies, to now do so.

"I think the benefits are significant, actually," Mr Laing said of the e-government platform, which launched yesterday, "because you're talking of benefits to be had for the general public from the ease of doing some transactions over the computer, as opposed to having to go to some counter, go to some office and get in your car and drive through traffic somewhere to do so. They can do the same from their computer wherever they are in the country or the world." Asked whether the more efficient, convenient way to pay Business Licences and real property taxes, plus apply for work permits and renewals, could boost government revenues by encouraging businesses/entrepreneurs to pay, Mr Laing replied: "I believe so in the end.

"There's benefits to the Treasury, and it will ultimately improve revenue and economic activity, and make us a more business friendly jurisdiction." Through reducing, or eliminating, the need to stand in line to pay taxes or complete permit applications, business efficiency and productivity should be enhanced.

Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham yesterday said the Government wanted to "change" the Bahamas' United Nations ranking of 65th out of 180- nations when it came to e-government, while Mr Laing expressed hope that the platform's launch would result in a "significant improvement" in this nation's Ease of Doing Business rankings.

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