Sand Dollar pilot enrollment at 1,200 participants

Sand Dollar pilot enrollment at 1,200 participants
The Central Bank of The Bahamas logo.

Central Bank to host first BCCEC Power Breakfast on Sand Dollar initiative

NASSAU, BAHAMAS- The Central Bank yesterday announced its Sand Dollar pilot project has ‘exceeded’ its expectation of 500 participants with enrollment currently at 1,200.

“The Exuma pilot is quickly approaching its maximum; however, the demand for Sand Dollar continues to show strong growth. At last count, there was an excess of 1,800 plus requests from the Exuma chain,” the regulator said yesterday.

The Central Bank also announced that it will host the first Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers’ Federation Power Breakfast of the year.

That event will be staged on February 12 under the theme, “PROJECT SAND DOLLAR: A Bahamas Payments System Modernization Initiative”.

“This breakfast will provide many members of the Bahamian business community with a first look at Sand Dollar,” the bank said.

“Local money transfer businesses (MTBs) and payment service providers (PSPs) will also be invited to set up demonstration kiosks at the breakfast, featuring their digital payment solutions.

The Central Bank  introduced a digital version of the Bahamian dollar last month, with a pilot phase in the Exumas that will extend to the Abacos during the first quarter of this year.

“This initiative has acquired the name Project Sand Dollar, with the Sand Dollar also being the name assigned to the central bank digital currency (CBDC); and is a continuation of the Bahamian Payments System Modernization Initiative (PSMI), which began in the early 2000s,” the bank continued.

“The Bahamian PSMI targets improved outcomes for financial inclusion and access, making the domestic payments system more efficient and non-discriminatory in access to financial services.The project has the support of the financial community, which welcomes the opportunity for financial inclusion of the unbanked and underbanked residents that Sand Dollar will provide.

“The authorised financial institutions (AFIs) currently participating in the pilot include clearing banks, MTBs and PSPs. As the pilot expands to the Abacos, additional AFIs are expected to be onboarded,” the Central Bank said.

The Sand Dollar wallet is available for download in the Google Play and Apple stores, under the name “Sand Dollar”.

The app is free and does not require any membership fees. However, for the duration of the pilot, the app can only be configured to work after enrollment through a participating financial institution.

The Sand Dollar app is expected to give way to the tailored front-end experience of the individual AFIs. Therefore, those enrolling in Sand Dollar need to consider the long-term relationship they intend to maintain with their selected financial services provider.