People in the Bahamas now have the option of loading the country’s central bank digital currency (CBDC) onto a prepaid Mastercard to enable use anywhere in the world, the payments giant has announced.
- The Bahamas Sand Dollar, the world's first CBDC, can now be converted into traditional Bahamian dollars using a prepaid Mastercard, enabling users to pay for goods and services wherever Mastercard is accepted worldwide.
- Since deployment in October 2020, the Sand Dollar has been accessed exclusively through a digital app at select merchants.
- The CBDC aims to spur financial inclusion by addressing the expense and difficulty of moving cash between the Bahamas' 700 small islands.
- The Mastercard development will also open the Sand Dollar to more users, as it has previously only been available to individuals and businesses domiciled in the Bahamas.
- The Sand Dollar carries the same value as the Bahamian dollar, itself pegged to the U.S. dollar.