Mastercard and Island Pay launch digital currency in Bahamas

Mastercard and Island Pay launch digital currency in Bahamas

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A collaboration between Mastercard, Central Bank of The Bahamas and Island Pay has launched the Bahamas Sand Dollar central bank digital currency.

Bahamians have received greater flexibility in how they pay using the country’s digital currency, the first of its kind.

Under a new program from Mastercard and Island Pay, the Bahamas Sand Dollar prepaid card gives people the option to instantly convert the digital currency to traditional Bahamian dollars and pay for goods and services anywhere Mastercard is accepted on the Islands and around the world.

The digital Sand Dollar is issued by the Central Bank of The Bahamas and carries the same value and consumer protections as a traditional Bahamian dollar. The digital currency can be used to facilitate government disbursements, offer additional payment choices and build a more inclusive economy.

John Rolle, Central Bank of The Bahamas Governor,said:“We welcome this approach to combining digital currency use with access to foreign currency and other payment outlets.  The Central Bank of The Bahamas will continue to encourage fintech developments that tie into the Sand Dollar infrastructure, while allowing us to satisfy best global practices for regulation of the space.”

Richard Douglas, Co-founder of Island Pay, said: “By working closely with the Central Bank of The Bahamas and Mastercard, we are able to issue a prepaid card unlike any other in the world. We are now able to bring immediate, critical benefits to our customers at a time when they are looking to find new, innovative ways to pay. The Bahamas is leading innovation in CBDCs, and we’re thrilled to be able to play an important role in helping to democratize access to currency, especially in areas that are currently underserved.”