The National Payments Council has begun to look at the high cost of fees associated with accepting credit and debit card payments, Governor of the Central Bank of The Bahamas (CBOB) John Rolle said on Friday.
Rolle said the council along with Central Bank are looking at how to reduce those fees to make accepting credit and debit cards less restrictive for merchants.
“And part of the way we see things evolving in terms of tackling those fees, is making the domestic infrastructure more important around how instructions for payments get from one point to the next and how funds move from one point to the next,” Rolle said.
He explained that costs could stem from the parts involved in those transactions that are not local.
And while merchants have found those costs to be restrictive sometimes, Rolle said the CBOB has received feedback from small merchants, especially those in the tourism industry, who have seen their sales volumes increase as a result of instituting a system to accept credit and debit cards.
“They saw a tremulous jump in their sales volumes when they employed an electronic payment solution,” said Rolle.
“You miss out on customers who only walk around with electronic payment instruments.”
Rolle also mentioned the costs associated with using cash in today’s world, explaining that there are costs associated with insuring money deposits, and costs associated with losses at the cash register.
He said one of the biggest costs to merchants that only accept cash is the business lost when customers only have an electronic payment instrument.
“In today’s world, if you’re the last man standing, you miss out,” Rolle said.
He said those kinds of losses are quantifiable and contended that the CBOB will work on collecting that kind of data in the future.
Rolle said the CBOB is moving forward with its digital currency project – Project Sand Dollar – so that more Bahamians can be included in the processing of digital payments.