On February 17, the global payments giant Mastercard announced the launch of a prepaid card to carry out commercial operations with the digital currency of the Central Bank of the Bahamas, the CBDC known as Sand Dollar or Sand Dollar. This was learned through a press release from Mastercard.
In the publication, Mastercard explained that for this initiative it partnered not only with the Central Bank of the Bahamas, but also with the Bahamian payment company Island Pay.
Mastercard added that this card to use the digital currency of the Bahamian central bank is “the first of its kind” , and represents an alternative to use said CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency or Central Bank Digital Currency).
According to the press release, Bahamians will be able to buy and pay with their country’s CBDC through said prepaid card, called the Bahamas Sand Dollar. Giant payments added that this instrument “gives people the option to instantly convert digital currency to traditional Bahamian dollars and pay for goods and services anywhere MasterCard is accepted in the islands and around the world”, sentenced the multinational financial services company.
From Mastercard they detailed that the Sand Dollar or Sand Dollar will have parity with the traditional Bahamian dollar, in a 1:1 ratio, in addition to having the same “consumer protection” characteristics as the official currency. Also, the payments giant added the following:
“Digital currency can be used to facilitate government outlays, offer additional payment options, and build a more inclusive economy. In the Bahamas, there are 700 small islands and more than 5,000 square miles of water. The movement of cash becomes expensive, which makes the central bank digital currency (CBDC) a preferred digital payment in the region. In the future, the sand dollar will be offered to tourists”.
Mastercard explained that the currency “Sand Dollar became the first fully implemented digital version of a country’s fiat currency in October 2020.” The initiative to launch a digital card for this CBDC is part of Mastercard’s strategy for the exploration and adoption of central bank digital currencies and tokens anchored to other assets (or so-called “stablecoins” ), in partnership with governments, banks and fintech, to be used as forms of payment.
Recently, Mastercard announced its plans to support a variety of digital currencies on its network; However, the multinational did not indicate what they would be, it simply indicated that they will select digital currencies that meet certain company requirements.
The Mastercard news came weeks after Visa CEO Alfred Kelly announced that the world’s second-largest plastic card payments company has plans to start operations with exchanges and wallets for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencie . According to Kelly, Visa is interested in using its global payments network to offer services in the market for Bitcoin and other digital assets.