Bahamas’ Sand Dollar CBDC Begins Facial-Recognition Rollout to Authorize Mobile Payments
Sand Dollar CBDC has continued to advance its usage and started addressing the issue of user authentication.
SunCash, a financial institution authorized to provide Sand Dollars in the Bahamas, announced on Thursday that it has partnered with PopID Inc software company to allow holders of the Bahamian Sand Dollar to use PopID’s PopPay platform to authenticate themselves.
It is the first time in history that consumers can now use the PopPay face verification platform to buy goods and services with a CBDC (central bank digital currency).
Bahamian citizens can now link their SunCash wallets to PopPay to enable face pay transactions using their Sand Dollars, a central bank digital currency in the Bahamas.
This will allow consumers to spend Sand Dollars at merchants (businesses) accepting SunCash payments using their faces for authentication.
Likewise, various local and global brands accepting digital Sand Dollars through the SunCash platform will be authenticated by PopPay.
PopPay’s technology allows merchants to verify customers’ identities with a facial scan. The technology links any payment method, including digital currencies, direct bank transfers, and debit/card cards, to the user’s unique facial characteristics.
Reports show that SunCash has over 55,000 active wallet holders, one-seventh of the population of the Bahamas, and more than 1,000 merchants accept the wallet.
Desmond Pyfrom, CEO of SunCash, talked about the development and said: "PopPay's cutting edge technology provides a more consumer-friendly, seamless, and secure experience for SunCash's users. With the integration of the PopPay platform into the SunCash App, Bahamian consumers can now quickly, efficiently, and safely use the digital Sand Dollar to purchase food and other products even if the consumer does not have a functional smartphone or an internet connection."
Digitizing Retail Payments
Private digital currencies are storming financial markets, and as a result have prompted central banks globally to create their own, legally-backed digital tokens.
The Central Bank of The Bahamas issued the Sand Dollar- a digital iteration of the Bahamian Dollar, in October 2020.
With Sand Dollar, local consumers can receive and make payments electronically from a digital wallet using either their smartphones or a physical payment card they can manage via merchants across the nation.
Residents can open digital currency accounts, store the CBDC in an e-wallet approved by the central bank and use it for payments. The records collected during daily operations, like income and spending information, can support applications for micro-loans.
An IMF FinTech report showed that in late 2021, the number of active Sand Dollar wallets was about 20,000 in a population of about 400,000.
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