Central Bank confirms three additional authorized financial institutions for Bahamian digital currency

Central Bank confirms three additional authorized financial institutions for Bahamian digital currency
The Central Bank of The Bahamas logo.

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — The Central Bank has confirmed that three additional financial institutions have been authorized to distribute the Sand Dollar and have earned the designation of authorized financial institution (AFI).

According to the financial services regulator, Bank of The Bahamas and the Teachers and Salaried Workers’ Cooperative Credit Union are the first clearing bank and credit union authorized to participate in the Sand Dollar space. Both institutions will use the Sand Dollar app.

Island Pay, a payment services provider, has also met the requirements to offer Sand Dollar services through a mobile application, the Central Bank 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,” said the regulator.

The Central Bank noted that recent surveys indicate the public requires assurances around the safety of conducting online transactions.

“As such, all Sand Dollar AFIs are required to complete robust and intensive cybersecurity assessments by an independent international firm before receiving approval to offer Sand Dollar services or integrate the Central Bank’s digital currency with their custom applications,” the Central Bank noted.

“This cybersecurity assessment evaluates AFIs’ custom apps, the overall security postures of the businesses, and reviews the coding practices applied in application development.

“Further, the Sand Dollar platform has also undergone a rigorous and independent cybersecurity assessment.

“Additionally, Sand Dollar-integrated wallets are enabled with multi-factor authentication features. All mobile devices are required to support a device passcode or biometrics to access the app and complete transactions.”

About Natario McKenzie

Natario McKenzie is a senior business reporter at Eyewitness News. He has covered numerous local and international high-profile cases, including the Anna Nicole Smith death inquiry and the John Travolta extortion case. He joined the staff of Eyewitness News as a business reporter in 2019, reporting on domestic and international developments impacting The Bahamas and its business sector, with a keen focus on small business national advancement and development. In 2017, Natario was recognized by the Bahamas Press Club with two nominations for the “The Eric Wilmott Award for Investigative Journalism” and the “Social Media Award”.