The national rollout of the Sand Dollar from the Central Bank of the Bahamas (CBOB) now has nine authorized financial institutions (FIs) that have completed the interoperability process, allowing them to communicate and exchange funds among the various platforms, the Nassau Guardian reported on Wednesday (May 5).
CBOB Governor John Rolle said in a quarterly press briefing that the central bank has seen progress leading to a wider consideration of adopting the digital currency.
Rolle noted that the focus is now on linking mobile wallet platforms with commercial banking systems ahead of the summer’s campaign to get more people in the Bahamas to use the electronic currency.
“We’ve had very good progress. What has been happening up to this point is you’ve seen largely a lot of work on the technology platforms of the various financial institutions. Our financial institutions today, the payment providers, quite a number of them have already put their mobile wallets out which are connected to the Sand Dollar platform,” Rolle said, per the news outlet.
The push for a digital currency comes after frustration from banks closing physical locations in the outer communities of the Bahamas. The move is also anticipated to facilitate financial inclusivity for the unbanked population. It is also expected to offer a means for the transfer of funds in the event of natural disasters such as hurricanes.
The desire to develop a central bank digital currency (CBDC) has grown as nations, big and small, are ready to move forward. By way of example, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) debuted DCash, making it the second central bank to go after the possibility of a CBDC.
The Bahama’s digital Sand Dollar has been making its way toward everyday retail use. The eCurrency is issued directly into digital wallets that can facilitate purchases as well as serve as a way to transfer funds and make payments.