Press Release: Public Update on The Bahamas Digital Currency - SandDollar
Published: Thursday February 1st, 2024
Public Update on The Bahamas Digital Currency - SandDollar
The Central Bank of The Bahamas broadened its SandDollar outreach efforts across the islands with specific focus on the recent holiday season. These efforts included the SandDollar Holiday Rebate program, the Bahama Out Island Promotion Board’s annual general meeting, and various pop-up markets.
Ongoing Technical Upgrades
Continued development and associated beta testing remain underway for the Central Bank’s original SandDollar mobile wallet. The enhancements will incorporate new features to improve user experience. Wallet holders will benefit from several self-service tools to assist with onboarding and wallet recovery. The adjusted timeline for the release of the new wallet is the first quarter of 2024.
Mobile Payments Data
The latest data, as at November 2023, indicates modest seasonal growth in digital payments activities, inclusive of SandDollar, compared to the same period of 2022; even though the year-to-date trends were still dampened by reduced government transfer payments. Usage continued to benefit from various cultural events and the Central Bank’s promotional activities. In November, the combined value of person-to-business (P2B) and business-to-business (B2B) transactions totalled $4.5 million, with the bulk processed in SandDollars. This was twice the level of November 2022, when usage had moderated after the October 2022 festival period. As at December 2023, personal wallets in use stood at 118,955, an expansion of 20 percent for the year to date. Moreover, SandDollars in circulation rose by 60.8% to $1.7 million.
SandDollar Outreach Activities
During December, public education and outreach efforts continued with the Central Bank’s sponsorship and participation at the Tingsmas and Two Creative Chicks Christmas Pop-up Markets, held at the Collins House grounds and One West Plaza, respectively. Additionally, the Central Bank attended the Annual General Meetings of the Bahama Out Islands Promotion Board and the Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association. Both meetings provided opportunities for education and targeted merchant engagement.
SandDollar Holiday Rebate programme was introduced at The Mall at Marathon. An in-person rebate booth, staffed by Central Bank representatives, allowed patrons to activate new wallets, load funds, and receive rebates for SandDollar spending during the holiday season.
From 1st January 2023 to 31st December 2023, a total of $0.16 million was disbursed through incentives and promotional distributions, including charitable events and festivals, radio promotions, and ongoing grocery top-ups and rebates.
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