The Central Bank of The Bahamas (CBOB) has given authorization to three new financial institutions that will be able to distribute the country’s first digital currency, the Sand Dollar, within the first or second quarter of the year, the CBOB noted in a statement.
Bank of The Bahamas (BOB) and the Teachers and Salaried Workers’ Cooperative Credit Union are the first clearing bank and credit union to be given the green light to distribute the Sand Dollar. Island Pay, a digital wallet and payment services developer, was also given the go-ahead.
“These organizations are now authorized to distribute the digital currency and have earned the designation Sand Dollar authorized financial institution (AFI),” the CBOB statement noted.
“These three institutions are finalizing internal procedures and will begin offering Sand Dollar services to the public within the first or second quarter of 2021.”
While Island Pay will distribute Sand Dollars through its own digital wallet, CBOB said both BOB and the Teachers and Salaried Workers’ Cooperative Credit Union will utilize its Sand Dollar wallet developed in 2019.
According to the Central Bank, all Sand Dollar AFIs are put through rigorous cybersecurity assessments by an independent international firm before being confirmed.
“This cybersecurity assessment evaluates AFIs’ custom apps, the overall security postures of the businesses and reviews the coding practices applied in application development,” the statement pointed out.
“Further, the Sand Dollar platform has also undergone a rigorous and independent cybersecurity assessment.”
CBOB said Sand Dollar users have expressed through surveys that they are concerned about the security of their money on mobile platforms.
The statement said Sand Dollar-integrated wallets are required to have multiple layers of authentication, including passcode or biometrics to access the app and complete transactions.
“These, of course, will be supplemented by the due care and attention that each digital payment user will be required to observe for all transactions that they undertake,” CBOB stated.