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Mastercard partners with Island Pay to launch a prepaid card for World’s first CBDC in the Bahamas

Mastercard partners with Island Pay to launch a prepaid card for World's first CBDC in the Bahamas

Mastercard collaborates with Island Pay local mobile payment service provider to offer the people of Bahamas with greater flexibility when transacting with the Sand Dollar, Bahamas’ CBDC. The Sand Dollar became the first fully employed digital version of a country’s fiat currency in October 2020. At that time, the Sand Dollar was available for registered users via a digital app rendered by local payment service provider Island Pay at preferred merchants.

The new program will allow citizens to immediately transform the central bank’s digital currency into cash (traditional Bahamian dollars). They can even repay for goods and services anywhere, as Mastercard prepaid cards are accepted on the Islands and across the globe. Mastercard technology, coupled with Island Pay’s digital platform and broad merchant agreement to improve the overall payment systems. Moreover, it will decrease the operational distribution cost of cash in the country.

Intricate details about Bahamas CBDC

Last October, Bahamas became the first nation to introduce CBDC, a digital version of the traditional cash. The Central Bank of the Bahamas made the sand dollar transferable through mobile phones, making the CBDC simple for local citizens. Moreover, digital currency is available even while offline. Thus, it is a suitable payment option for residents without an internet connection.

Bahamas’ Central Bank highlighted offline availability as a prominent characteristic when planning and developing the Sand Dollar. The feature is fundamental as the archipelagic state is inclined to natural disasters. For instance, when Hurricane Dorian hit the Island in September 2019 and destroyed billions worth of property. Also, most people faced issues due to poor or no internet connection. Furthermore, there are 700 small islands in The Bahamas and more than 5000 square miles of water. Cash movement becomes expensive, making CBDC a favored digital payment in the region. In the future, the government intends to grant the Sand Dollar to tourists.

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