Public-private collaboration aimed at boosting digital payments and reducing cash usage in the Bahamas has made gains in a relatively short timeframe. Since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, policymakers have invested in technological infrastructure on the supply side while incentivising digital payments on the demand side through a mixture of debit and credit cards, and cashless point-of-sale and person-to-person direct transfers. In parallel, the country’s central bank digital currency – known as the Sand Dollar – has positioned the Bahamas as a regional leader in digital finance.
These developments can be seen in the broader context of efforts to modernise the banking system, including the Bahamas Banking Systems Modernisation Initiative, which led to the establishment of the Bahamas Clearing House, the Real Time Gross Settlement System and the Credit Bureau. These policy milestones, in conjunction with innovation from the private sector, have laid the groundwork for continued growth in digital finance over the coming decade.