Central Bank of The Bahamas

05/25/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/25/2023 10:27

Press Release: Public Update on The Bahamas Digital CurrencySandDollar

Press Release: Public Update on The Bahamas Digital CurrencySandDollar

Published: Thursday May 25th, 2023

Press Release

Public Update on The Bahamas Digital Currency-SandDollar


During April and May 2023,the Central Bank of The Bahamas continued with more accelerated outreachfor SandDollar, across New Providence, Grand Bahama and the Family Islands.In addition, technical developments to extend proprietary wallet access to the Bahamas Automated Clearing House (ACH)via the SandDollar infrastructure were completed.This facility isset for release to the SandDollar digital wallet providersat the end of May.In the meantime, the first iteration of Wallet 2.0,which will permit user self-activation, progressed to beta testing,with a general releasetargeted for the middle of the summer.

Ongoing Technical Upgrades

The Central Bank has completed developments to extend ACH top-up, redemption access totheproprietary SandDollar-enabled digital wallets.Digital wallet providers can begin activating this customer feature bythe end of May 2023.SandDollar wallet holders of all levels will be able to use this feature, once provided with a top-up address through their respectivedigital wallet provider.All mobile wallet account holders will be able to use the third-party transfer features within their online and mobile banking applications to sendfunds to their SandDollar accounts, regardless of wallet levelor wallet provider.While all wallets will be able to receive top-upsfrom Bank accounts, only account holderswho have successfullyundertaken enhancedKYC for Tier II (individuals) and Tier III (businesses) statuseswill be permittedto redeem SandDollars through linked bank deposit accounts.The SandDollar redemption process transfers SandDollars from a wallet to the linked bank account.Such usersmustperforma penny testsuccessfully before redemption links can be used.To prepare for the expanded access to the ACH, the Central Bank willrelease instructional videos on completing online top-ups using each commercial banking platform.

In June, the Central Bank will commence beta testing of the white-labelledWallet 2.0for automatic self-onboardingof users to lower KYC (Tier I) wallets.This app is targeted for release to thepublicinAugust2023.It would provide the userswith access to a branded version of the Central Bank-developedapp linked to the SandDollar Authorised Financial Institution (AFI)of choice selected by the individual.Wallet 2.0 also provides merchant services features, which are scheduled for a later 2023 release date.

New Authorised FinancialInstitutions

As of June2023, the Bank of The Bahamas (BOB) willbecomethe latestAFI to beginprovidingSandDollar wallet services to customers in a targeted and phased rollout.The Central Bank collaborated closely with BOB to allow the institution to pilot limited use of the original SandDollar app,before thisdeployment to customers.

Mobile Payments Data

In the latest available data, the unwinding of government social assistance transfers led to reduced
person-to-person(P2P) and person-to-business(P2B)transactionsin March 2023, compared to the same month in 2022.Alongside bank-to-bank (B2B)transactions,the total value ofmobilepayments during March was,accordingly,reduced