The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) digital currency, DCash, will go live on March 31, starting with Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, and St Lucia.
ECCB Governor Timothy Antoine, while making the announcement, urged people to get on board with this “safer, faster and cheaper” form of payment.
“The future of the EC dollar is digital, so let’s make history together,” he said.
The ECCB partnered with Bitt Inc to develop the securely minted digital version of the EC dollar.
“Bitt is very proud to provide the ECCB with our full stack of digital currency management systems to enhance the financial services within their member countries,” said CEO of Bitt, Brian Popelka.
“The past two years of this partnership have developed from intense consultations between the Bitt team and the ECCB to our team supporting the ECCB.”
DCash, considered legal tender, is a real-time payment option available within the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) and offers a safer, faster, cheaper method for making payments and sending/receiving funds to and from other DCash users and merchants.
Consumers can access it via the official app, DCash Wallet, and conduct financial transactions using their smart devices. DCash can be obtained from participating commercial banks, credit unions, or other authorised institutions.
Consumers can, therefore, sign up to use DCash, either through a participating financial institution or via an authorised DCash agent.
The ECCB said it launched the DCash pilot to address the issues of the relatively high cost of current payment methods and banking services; inadequacy of banking services in addressing the needs of various customers; and inefficient methods of settling cheque transactions, which slow the pace of commerce.
The objectives of the pilot include increasing opportunities for financial inclusion, growth, competitiveness, and resilience for citizens of the ECCU.