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Mastercard Launches Prepaid Card Linked to Bahamas Sand Dollar CBDC

| Updated
by Benjamin Godfrey · 3 min read
Mastercard Launches Prepaid Card Linked to Bahamas Sand Dollar CBDC
Photo: Depositphotos

Mastercard is a leading force in today’s digital payment ecosystem as the firm helps to drive the development of CBDCs beyond the issuance of prepaid cards.

American multinational financial services firm Mastercard Inc (NYSE: MA) has partnered with Island Pay to roll out prepaid cards linked to the world’s first Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC), the Bahamas Sand Dollar. According to a press release shared by the company, the cards will afford citizens of the Caribbean nation greater flexibility in how they utilize the digital currency.

The Central Bank of the Bahamas made history when it became the first country to launch a fully functional CBDC back in October 2020. Since then, the apex bank has explored unique ways to make the product serve its people as designed. The rollout of the Mastercard prepaid cards is one of these ways.

Prior to this time, the use of the Sand Dollars is limited to a single digital app at select merchants in the country.

“We welcome this approach to combining digital currency use with access to foreign currency and other payment outlets. The Central Bank of The Bahamas will continue to encourage fintech developments that tie into the Sand Dollar infrastructure, while allowing us to satisfy best global practices for regulation of the space,” said John Rolle, Governor of the Central Bank of The Bahamas.

With the new cards, holders of the Sand Dollars can tap into the wide merchant network of the issuing company to pay for goods and services anywhere Mastercard is accepted.

As a key technological partner in the development of the cards, Island Pay Co-founder, Richard Douglas said the products can offer unique benefits to its “customers at a time when they are looking to find new, innovative ways to pay.” He also noted that “The Bahamas is leading innovation in CBDCs, and we’re thrilled to be able to play an important role in helping to democratize access to currency, especially in areas that are currently underserved.”

Beyond Prepaid Cards, Mastercard Is Enabling Enhanced CBDC Development

Mastercard is a leading force in today’s digital payment ecosystem as the firm helps to drive the development of CBDCs beyond the issuance of prepaid cards.

The company has a longer-term strategy to support all forms of payments involving fiat-backed digital currencies as well as privately issued Stablecoins. For these goals, Mastercard has secured as many as 89 blockchain patents globally, and an additional 285 blockchain applications pending worldwide.

The company’s strategy to support the growth of CBDCs and crypto engenders the formation of working partnerships with both Central Banks and private firms around the world.

“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. We’re creating a lot more possibilities for governments, shoppers, and merchants, allowing them to transact in an entirely new form of payment,” said Raj Dhamodharan, executive vice president of Digital Asset & Blockchain Products & Partnerships at Mastercard.

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Benjamin Godfrey

Benjamin Godfrey is a blockchain enthusiast and journalists who relish writing about the real life applications of blockchain technology and innovations to drive general acceptance and worldwide integration of the emerging technology. His desires to educate people about cryptocurrencies inspires his contributions to renowned blockchain based media and sites. Benjamin Godfrey is a lover of sports and agriculture.

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