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Central Bank of The Bahamas predicts surge in use of Sand Dollar

As more financial institutions in The Bahamas continue to integrate the Sand Dollar into their mobile wallet solutions, the central bank in that country has predicted an increase in the issuance of the digital currency by the end of the quarter of 2021.

“To date, six firms have successfully completed the cybersecurity assessment and have been cleared to distribute Sand Dollars within their proprietary mobile wallets. An additional three firms have begun the cybersecurity assessment process and are likely to complete this evaluation in early 2021,” a release from the Central Bank of the Bahamas stated.

The three firms that are currently undergoing assessments include a commercial bank and a credit union.

Central Bank of the Bahamas (Photo: www.sanddollar.bs)

Still in developmental stage

In the meantime, the central bank has asked authorised financial institutions (AFIs), which will distribute Sand Dollars, to provide a timeline for completing the integration of mobile wallet platforms.

For customers — businesses and individuals — who have already signed with a digital payments provider, they can expect the Sand Dollar will be available within the same environment in which they have enrolled, once their providers complete systems upgrades.

“This will provide customers with awareness as to when this digital currency activation would be completed,” the release outlined further.

“To date, six firms have successfully completed the cybersecurity assessment and have been cleared to distribute Sand Dollars within their proprietary mobile wallets”

A minor setback

What’s more, the digital payment providers will offer interoperable Sand Dollar services, which will allow businesses and individuals to send and receive funds with any other digital wallet once the transaction is in Sand Dollars.

Still, the Central Bank of The Bahamas said it foresees a challenge with interoperability in the short term since some digital payment providers have opted for a two-phased approach to developing their digital wallet solutions. As a result, they may not be able to send funds and or receive from “third-party” digital wallets until they have integrated an interoperability feature.

“Cross-platform interoperability should also be achieved for such providers during the early months of 2021. Other firms expect that they will be fully interoperable with third-party Sand Dollar wallets upon initial
product launch,” the release outlined.

Plans for public education

Starting today (January 4), with the launch of the Sand Dollar website, the Central Bank of The Bahamas said it will accelerate public education around digital financial services providing details on the regulatory environment for the digital currency, including minimum interoperability and financial inclusion standards.

Once full AFIs have successfully accomplished interoperability, the bank will intensify its public education campaign.