Phase 2 set to begin rollout on September 1
NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Bahamian residents will now be able to pay for government services with the new digital Sand Dollars. The Central Bank’s Sand Dollar rollout has reached a new milestone for the government’s digital transformation after a successful round of testing as a form of payment within the Bahamas Digital Payment Platform, also known as DigiPay.
The country’s global-leading digital currency was used as payment for a character certificate (ie police record) at the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF) this week and passed all phases of the testing without incident. As a result, the government and the Central Bank will begin integrating other agencies throughout the government into the Sand Dollar ecosystem.
Minister of State for Finance Kwasi Thompson said: “The government’s push towards a more digitized Bahamas is continuing to take shape with this exciting development.
“With DigiPay, we are modernizing the way Bahamians pay for government services: improving the efficiency, access and security of payments by means of digital innovation.
“We are able to further this goal with the successful implementation of Sand Dollar’s ecosystem, which aims to achieve similar outcomes for our country’s payment landscape. With that, the Sand Dollar will soon serve as a standard means of payment collection through the DigiPay platform for government services.
“This step is also a historic achievement, which signals the government’s commitment to building and expanding the Sand Dollar ecosystem across the Bahamas.
“This step encourages the public to participate in the Sand Dollar ecosystem by affording them the opportunity to pay for government services with the convenience that digital currency brings. This step also establishes The Bahamas as a world leader in Central Bank digital currency.”
The final install of the equipment allowing the RBPF to collect Sand Dollar as a means of payment was completed last week, allowing for payment for government revenue at the RBPF Oakes Field office through Sand Dollar.
Throughout the remainder of the month, more agencies will be brought on and equipped with the necessary hardware to allow more agencies to be able to accept Sand Dollars across government.
Director of the Revenue Audit and Cash Management Unit at the Ministry of Finance Nicole Reilly said: “This is an exciting moment for our team. I applaud the efforts of Kristie Powell, representing the technical arm of DigiPay, and all stakeholders involved for such a smooth and productive testing period.
“Phase one of the Sand Dollar ecosystem build, which encompasses revenue collection for government agencies, is now complete on the technical side.
“We are eager to move onto phase two, which involves government expenditure payouts in Sand Dollars throughout the cash districts of our Southern Bahamian islands. The tentative date for this phase to go live is set for September 1, 2021.”