The National Bank of Belize (NBB) has solicited the expertise of Barbados-based financial technology firm Bitt to create and launch a digital wallet that will complement the bank’s mobile banking services.
“NBB is licensing a digital currency infrastructure from Bitt to support retail and business users’ access to simple secure and efficient payment solutions as they recover from the global economic crisis,” a release from the Government-owned bank stated.
“In recent years, there has been a noticeable increase in cashless financial transactions, and the era of smartphone technology has accelerated our move in this area”— Alvaro Alamina, general manager, National Bank of Belize Limited
At present, the financial institution plans to have a soft launch of the NBB Pay eWallet in early next year, followed by a roll-out to all customers and businesses around mid-2021. Ahead of and during the launch of the NBB Pay eWallet, the bank has planned an extensive public education campaign to sensitise Belizeans to its new product offering.
With the e-wallet, users can conduct customer-to-customer, business-to-business, customer-to-business transfers, or vice versa, as well as pay bills.
“The National Bank of Belize is pleased to partner with Bitt to deliver the world’s latest financial technology to our customers. In recent years, there has been a noticeable increase in cashless financial transactions, and the era of smartphone technology has accelerated our move in this area,” NBB General Manager Alvaro Alamina remarked.
He also said that this moves serves to fufil the bank’s committment to improving financial inclusion for Belize’s unbanked and underbanked demographic.
“[Another] benefit of this partnership is that NBB Pay will serve to alleviate some of the pressures of the health crisis, as users of the eWallet can effectively reduce their in-person interactions when conducting day-to-day business,” the general manager added.
This partnership with Bitt comes at a times when the company is working with the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank and Central Bank of Barbados to launch their own government-backed digital currencies — DCash and mMoney respectively.
With this in mind, CEO of Bitt Brian Popelka underscored that digital payments bring transformational opportunities to developing economies.
“We are thrilled to provide the National Bank of Belize Limited with our DCMS, and to enable a modern digital financial ecosystem in Belize,” he commented.
“As we continue to roll out digital currency platforms — including mMoney in Barbados, and DCash with the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank — we see our mission of financial inclusion taking hold. Developing economies stand to reap many benefits from the evolution of digital payments, and Bitt is proud to be at the forefront of this financial innovation,” he continued.