Mastercard yesterday announced that it was partnering with the Bahamas’ central bank to introduce the sand dollar prepaid card
The financial services company released an official statement highlighting the details of the project on its press page. The company introduces prepaid cards linked to the Bahamas’ digital currency. The currency, called the sand dollar, was piloted in late 2019 before being officially launched in October 2020.
The partnership enables Bahamians to load their cards with digital currency. Mastercard confirmed that the prepaid cards can be used to process payments.
“Today Bahamians have even more flexibility when shopping and paying with the country’s digital currency, the first of its kind,” wrote Mastercard. “With a new program from Mastercard and Island Pay, the Bahamas Sand Dollar Prepaid Card gives people the ability to instantly convert digital currency to traditional Bahamian dollars and pay for goods and services wherever Mastercard is in the islands and around the world World is accepted. “
At the time of deployment, the digital currency was only available to registered users through an Island Pay digital app at certain merchants. The partnership is changing the dynamic as local payment service provider Island Pay now issues the cards linked to digital currency.
John Rolle, Governor of the Central Bank of the Bahamas, said on the matter: “We welcome this approach to combine the use of digital currencies with access to foreign currencies and other payment centers.”
Mastercard appears to have a strong position in the digital currency space by releasing test programs for central bank crypto pilots. The network is also reportedly being rebuilt to allow direct processing of crypto payments.
Raj Dhamodharan, vice president of digital assets and blockchain products, said: “This partnership is an example of how the private and public sectors can rethink what is possible while ensuring the highest levels of consumer protection and regulatory compliance. We’re creating a lot more opportunities for governments, buyers and merchants to do business in a whole new way of paying. “