Use of checks down 4.2% last year after 3.5% contraction in 2017
The use of checks as a payment instrument continues to be eclipsed by electronic payment methods, declining by 4.2 percent last year after contracting by 3.5 percent the year before, according to The Central Bank of The Bahamas’ (CBOB) 2018 Annual Report.
The CBOB report explains that the value of check payments fell by 0.1 percent to $7.1 billion.
The check is set for more competition as the CBOB continues to ramp up its efforts to modernize payment solutions in The Bahamas and develop a digital version of the Bahamian dollar by 2020.
“This innovation would also promote the interoperability of seamless connectivity between private providers of electronic payments solutions. In order to affect this change, the bank established an E-solutions Unit in the Banking Department, to focus on developing this payment platform,” the report notes.
“This initiative has been branded as ‘Project Sand Dollar’. The emphasis is on providing a technology solution that meets the needs of an archipelagic geography, with more enabled access to banking services and inclusivity across population segments, including undocumented persons.”
These changes come with the need for the government to develop a “national digital identity infrastructure, which is an essential complement to a mobile retail payments infrastructure”, according to the report.
The government hinted at the use of an upgraded National Insurance identification card that would be able to use a chip to store data – even financial data.
The report adds that such a card would also allow for “expanded access to domestic financial services, that would comply with stringent international AML/CFT standards”.
Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism
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