Press Release: Public Update on The Bahamas Digital Currency - SandDollar
Published: Friday October 13th, 2023
Public Update on The Bahamas Digital Currency - SandDollar
The Central Bank of The Bahamas continued its SandDollar outreach across New Providence, Abaco, and Green Turtle Cay during September. Engagement efforts in New Providence included the SandDollar online rebate program rollout at Super Value and Quality Supermarkets and AML Food’s Solomon’s and Fresh Markets locations, with similar rebate opportunities extended to Grand Bahama residents.
Ongoing Technical Upgrades
Developments and related beta testing continue for the Central Bank’s original SandDollar mobile wallet. The enhancements will incorporate new features to improve user experience. Wallet holders will benefit from a number of self-service tools to assist with onboarding and wallet recovery. The application will incorporate a memo field to provide more details surrounding transactions and a favourites list for frequent transactions. These features should be available before the end of the fourth quarter of 2023.
Mobile Payments Data
During the first seven months of 2023, a more than four-fold reduction in wallet top-ups to $10.2 million was registered, in comparison to the previous year when government transfer payments significantly influenced retail activity. Cash withdrawals were equally impacted, with the value of these transactions contracting to an estimated $14.3 million from $55.7 million. Influenced to a lesser extent, the volume of person-to-person (P2P) transactions fell by 11.4 percent in July 2023 vis-à-vis the corresponding period a year ago. Further, the total value of person-to-business (P2B) and business-to-business (B2B) transactions moderated by approximately 15.0 percent to $4.9 million. SandDollar payments continue to account for the bulk of processed transactions.
SandDollar Outreach Activities
During September, SandDollar Ambassadors continued supporting planned promotional events across New Providence. These events included The Nassau Conference and a top-up and rebate event held at the Mall at Marathon. At the Mall, consumers received a $20 rebate when they showed proof of a recent top-up and a $10 rebate when they showed evidence of a current transaction at any of the participating Mall stores.
Central Bank’s online rebate programme was launched as an extension of the top-up and rebate programmes introduced during the months of June-August 2023. Incentives were made available to customers of AML Foods’ and Super Value’s New Providence locations, Solomon’s Freeport and Lucaya (Grand Bahama) locations, and Grand Bahama’s Sawyer’s Fresh Market and all Super Value and Quality Supermarkets in New Providence. The online rebate programme allows consumers to experience the efficiency of receiving remote payments via SandDollar and will continue through October.
The public can look forward to additional rebate opportunities with popular SandDollar merchants throughout the year in New Providence and on the Family Islands. During the period 1st January 2023 to 31st September 2023, a total of $108,190 was disbursed through incentives and promotional distributions, including the Bahamas Red Cross Society Ball and Fair, Central Bank’s Financial Literacy Fair, Guardian Radio’s ‘On the Clock with Erin Greene’, ongoing grocery top-up and rebate programmes, and other top-up and rebate events, including those hosted as part of Family Island engagements.
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