Mastercard announced on Wednesday it has joined forces with Island Pay to launch the Bahamas Sand Dollar prepaid digital currency-linked card. Mastercard revealed that under the program, the Bahamas Sand Dollar card allows people the option to instantly convert the digital currency to traditional Bahamian dollars and pay for goods and services anywhere Mastercard is accepted on the Islands and around the world.
“The Sand Dollar became the first fully- deployed digital version of a country’s fiat currency in October 2020. At that time, the Sand Dollar was exclusively accessed by registered users through a digital app at select merchants. Island Pay mobile wallet users can decide if they want to transact in Sand Dollars or Bahamian dollars at merchants using the mobile app.”
Mastercard also noted that the digital Sand Dollar is issued by the Central Bank of The Bahamas and carries the same value and consumer protections as a traditional Bahamian dollar. The financial giant added:
“The digital currency can be used to facilitate government disbursements, offer additional payment choices and build a more inclusive economy. In The Bahamas, there are 700 small islands and more than 5000 square miles of water. Cash money movement becomes costly, which makes a central bank digital currency (CBDC) a preferred digital payment in the region. In the future, the Sand Dollar will be offered to tourists.”
Mastercard recently announced that it plans to support select digital currencies directly on its network, giving choice and flexibility to people and merchants. Each program will be evaluated against the principles Mastercard has established to guide its activities in this space.