Genius Digital pushes payments gateway upgrade


Recent updates by the global payment associations have called for banks and payment gateways to upgrade their platforms to support the latest security standards and frameworks. This comes as Visa and Mastercard announced their discontinuation of support for 3DS 1, which is the authentication protocol used by most Caribbean banks to process online card transactions.

Jamaican company Genius Digital Commerce (GDC) is helping local businesses to upgrade their e-commerce payment gateways to 3DS 2 for more secure online transaction processing.

Behind the initiative is Kemar Harris, director of POW Social Media, founder of Genius Digital Commerce and co-founder of Cartmazing, a local e-commerce marketplace.

GDC, based in Kingston, specialises in providing e-commerce solutions to businesses with a strategic focus on helping businesses efficiently digitise and leverage the power of e-commerce to drive increased sales and revenue. Operating since 2013, the company was registered in 2020.

Kemar Harris is CEO.

In May, the company launched WooCommerce 3DS 2 Payment Gateway Plugin for First Atlantic Commerce. The plugin provides e-commerce integration for commercial banks in over 20 Caribbean islands.

“Since then, we’ve seen businesses who use commercial banks in the region such as NCB Jamaica, Republic Bank, Scotiabank, among others, being able to use our plugins to complete their payment gateway integration, testing, and validation process in just a matter of days — albeit, a process that would usually take most merchants a month or more,” the CEO said.

SVP, business development and marketing, at First Atlantic Commerce, Tricia Lines Hill said developers are key to this upgrade, adding “GDC has been a great partner in helping the transition process of many of their merchants.

She added: “Genius Digital Commerce is removing the hurdle for businesses across the region to collect payments securely online, by eliminating the issues directly related to the complex integration process which usually requires the expertise of an experienced developer.”

Harris outlines that most commercial banks in the region have already contacted their e-commerce merchants to advise them of the urgency to upgrade their e-commerce payments integration.

“It is very important that merchants upgrade quickly to 3DS 2 to prevent potentially fraudulent transactions on their e-commerce platforms. The upgrade to 3DS 2 poses several benefits to both merchants and customers. The 3DS 2 protocol comes with refined accuracy and approval of sale transactions, increased security protection and an overall improved user experience. Merchants who upgrade to 3DS 2 can also be protected from fraudulent chargeback via ‘liability shift’ where the financial responsibility shifts to the card issuer instead of merchants,” said the CEO of GDC.

To date, Harris has developed over 1,000 websites and spends most of his time helping businesses to go digital and leverage the power of e-commerce.

He holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science & Information Technology from the University of Technology, Jamaica, and a postgraduate degree in digital marketing from the Digital Marketing Institute.

GDC offers payment gateway integration and support services to businesses in Jamaica and across the Caribbean that need to accept payments online via their local banks. In addition, online payment has become a standard medium of collection globally for many businesses. However, several local and regional entities, particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, are still struggling to implement the necessary technologies to facilitate this optional service.


“Being unable to accept secure online payments with fast settlements is one of the keys to succeeding at e-commerce. Businesses who fail to accomplish this are usually left frustrated and generally struggle to maintain their e-commerce stores,” explained Harris.

GDC has developed a number of plugins and solutions to help businesses and developers who need to accept payments online via their websites.

“GDC has assisted many of our merchants in their migration from 3DS1 to 3DS2. Since 3DS1 is no longer available, it is crucial for merchants to upgrade to 3DS2 so that with any disputed credit card payments, the financial liability can shift from the merchant to the card issuer. The technology, 3DS2, also enables better customer experience through less friction,” said Lines Hill.

Up to October 2022, GDC by means of their plugins and custom payment gateway integration services has helped close to 50 businesses to upgrade to and integrate 3DS 2 payment processing on their e-commerce stores — a milestone that many businesses had been trying to accomplish ahead of Black Friday.

Howard Senior, proprietor of Leaven Content Company, a social media strategy company also based in Kingston, said: “We found the GDC team to be very knowledgeable and highly responsive. The onboarding process was easy and the integration of their plugin with our website was seamless.”

Jamaica-based company Herboo Botanicals’ principal Javin Williams said working with GDC was worth it.

“They are reliable and they get the job done. We have been using their plugin to accept payments on our website, which was a challenge for us as we serve local and international customers. Their plugin has allowed us to process thousands of online transactions, boosting our bottom line. I would highly recommend it if you are seeking to grow your business,” said Williams.

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