The Central Bank of The Bahamas (CBOB) has now completed its integration of the Sand Dollar with the Bahamas Automated Clearing House (BACH) system, opening the door for Sand Dollar to now be transferred from a digital wallet to any deposit account at a local commercial bank.
CBOB Governor John Rolle said in a statement that the BACH link brings the Sand Dollar – the world’s first central bank digital currency – closer to existing in a “seamless ecosystem between the digital and physical versions of the Bahamian currency”.
“After months of beta testing, troubleshooting and refining the transaction process, we launch this phase with confidence in the integrity of the system that we have created,” said Rolle.
“What we are saying, especially for businesses that we will be enticing to adopt the Sand Dollar, is that as they look to the near to medium term, the deposit of their register receipts can increasingly be made through a secure electronic transfer rather than a logistically challenging transportation of physical cash.”
According to the statement, Sand Dollar users simply pair their mobile wallets to a deposit account and carry out transfers.
The Clearing Banks Association (CBA) called the connection to Sand Dollar “an important milestone in the journey towards increased adoption and use “of digital money in this country.
“We are confident this integration with the banking system will prove beneficial for personal and business users, who will now enjoy the benefits of a seamless link between fiat cash and digital currency,” the CBA stated.
“The CBA supports the Central Bank in its effort to promote efficiency in the domestic payments space and looks forward to working together to further promote financial access and inclusion.”
Rolle said the Sand Dollar is complementary to physical cash, as it does not lose value whether it is in the physical or digital space. He added that the Sand Dollar provides non-discriminatory access to payments despite a person’s geographic location.
The Sand Dollar was launched with the far-flung islands of The Bahamas in mind, especially those with no physical bank presence in their communities. At present, statistics are showing pleasing promise for our digital currency,” Rolle said.
“With this launch of phase one of BACH integration, we anticipate an uptick in Sand Dollar adoption as more merchants and consumers grasp the benefits and ease of utilizing a digital version of the Bahamian dollar.”
The statement explained that phase two of the BACH linkage, which could come to fruition in the second quarter, will allow mobile wallets to be topped up through third-party bank transfers from linked accounts.