Giftland launches Cambio, to add commercial bank soon
The Giftland Mall on Saturday evening launched its own currency exchange centre to allow customers to exchange their US, Canadian and other currencies at a convenient location.
Proprietor of the Mall, Roy Beepat told the News Room that the management has been working on setting up a Cambio for the past three years. After successfully meeting all the requirements of the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering of Financing Terrorism Act, the Central Bank has finally given permission to add the service to the Mall.
Located on the top floor of the first entrance to the Mall, the Cambio opens from 11am to 8:30pm.
“We are so happy now to have the Cambio here because people will come up with their US, with their Canadian and their other currency, and they can shop legally,” Mr Beepat said.
The Giftland Mall has a total of 95 different concessions operating in the building. During the holidays, it is known to be the most visited location by foreigners and overseas based Guyanese who are holidaying in Guyana.
The proprietor said, “for the Giftland Mall, it is actually sorely needed because as everyone knows that unless you’re a bank or hotel, you cannot accept foreign currency. So it means basically anyone who has been shopping with the currency at the Mall has been doing so illegally.”
The Mall is also looking to add banking services to its facilities.
Beepat noted that talks have already commenced with some commercial banks which are open to the idea of launching a branch at the Mall.
“We have a few that are interested and they’re just waiting on their boards to make that final decision,” he said.
The businessman noted that in most countries, the majority of banking is done at convenient hours at facilities with a convenient location.
“Giftland Mall with the amount of traffic it sees will be no different,” he said.
Mr Beepat believes that whichever bank decides to join, agencies will “open up many many new accounts and take pretty much a stronghold on the east coast.”
The commercial banks already have their ATMs located on the ground floor of the mall. Some may raise concerns about a branch at the location but Mr Beepat said with 44 full time security guards, police patrol and armed security, there should be no fear.
According to Mr. Beepat, the Mall which will be observing its fourth anniversary on July, has seen thousands of persons visiting since opening its doors.
He said recently there has been an increase in traffic as persons are “not happy with what they’re getting at other places.”
MovieTowne recently opened a short distance from the Giftland Mall at Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown.
While some persons had expressed concerns about that facility’s impact on business at the Giftland Mall, Mr Beepat said, “We really welcome MovieTowne, I personally love it.”
He believes that it adds to the business on the East Coast of Demerara.
“The more people to come up here is the better for everyone,” he said.