Mastercard Launching World’s First CBDC-Linked Card In Bahamas

Mastercard announced that it has partnered with the Bahamas’ central bank and Island Pay to launch the Sand Dollar prepaid card. “Today, Bahamians received even greater flexibility in how they shop and pay using the country’s digital currency, the first of its kind,” Mastercard wrote.

“Under a new program from Mastercard and Island Pay. The Bahamas Sand Dollar prepaid card gives people the option to instantly convert the digital currency to traditional Bahamian dollars. To pay for goods and services anywhere Mastercard is accepted on the Islands and around the world.”

Originally piloted in 2019, the Sand Dollar became the first fully-deployed digital version of a country’s fiat currency one year later. At that time, the Sand Dollar was exclusively accessed by registered users through a digital app at select merchants.

The digital Sand Dollar is issued by the Central Bank of The Bahamas. It carries the same value and consumer protections as a traditional Bahamian dollar.

The digital currency can be used to facilitate government disbursements, offer additional payment choices and build a more inclusive economy.

The partnership changes the dynamics as the local payment service provider Island Pay will now be issuing the digital currency-linked cards.

“We welcome this approach to combining digital currency use with access to foreign currency and other payment outlets”. Governor of the Bahamas Central Bank John Rolle said.

Mastercard Remolding Network For Crypto Payments

Mastercard reportedly is remodeling its network to allow for direct processing of crypto payments. “This partnership is an example of how the private and public sector can rethink what’s possible. While delivering the strongest levels of consumer protection and regulatory compliance. VP of digital assets and blockchain products Raj Dhamodharan said.

“We’re creating a lot more possibilities for governments, shoppers and merchants, allowing them to transact in an entirely new form of payment.”

Mastercard’s mission is to help reduce the operational distribution costs of cash. Modernizing the overall payments system in The Bahamas. The hope is that Island Pay’s technology platform, combined with Mastercard technology and wide merchant acceptance, will make that possible.

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