Tuesday, Jun 25, 2019
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Central bank making progress on creation of digital Bahamian dollar

The Central Bank of The Bahamas (CBOB) could make an announcement on the creation of a digital Bahamian dollar before the end of the first quarter, the bank’s Governor John Rolle said yesterday.

Rolle said the CBOB has been making “good progress” in determining what a pilot project could look like. The bank also has to identify a community in which to run the pilot project.

The high cost of cash, and the difficulty in providing banking services to Bahamians on the Family Islands, are reasons the CBOB is looking at implementing a digital currency.

“Business models have to accommodate the cost of getting cash in and out,” said Rolle. “Better functioning electronic systems would put remote areas in reach of traditional banking services.”

According to Rolle, the CBOB has issued a license to a non-bank entity to provide varying types of digital payment solutions that could benefit those living on the Family Islands. He added that other entities have expressed an interest in providing similar services and are in varying stages of applying to the Central Bank for a license.

In September the CBOB announced that it approved Island Pay to be an electronic money mobile payment provider, as it had satisfied the bank’s licensing requirements. The company will allow consumers to load money into a number of mobile and wearable items.

The company revealed that it will utilize the Contactless Companion Platform (CCP) which “will allow Bahamians and visitors alike to make contactless payments between themselves or with retailers across the whole of the large island archipelago”.

CCP runs on secure chip technology from Samsung Semiconductor. The software application platform is provided by Smartlink, a Swiss fintech specializing in mobile and alternative payment solutions.

Chester Robards

Senior Business Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian.
Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism
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