Since its rollout in late 2020, Bahamas’s electronic money Sand Dollar has been massively adopted. The project has advanced to the next verification stage by providing a more impressive facial recognition feature for holders to authenticate themselves before making payments.
The feature was rolled out on Thursday through the collaborative efforts of SunCash, a financial entity and software firm PopID Inc. CBDC users will now be able to use Popay, a facial verification platform by PopID, to validate themselves before making payments.
Bahamians Can Make Payments Using their Faces
The technology uses facial scans to verify the identities of customers. It connects CBDCs, debit card transfers, and other payment methods to the customer’s facial features.
Bahamians can connect their SunCash wallets to the payment platform to activate facial payment transactions using the CBDC. It will enable customers to purchase goods and services from supported merchants using their faces.
In addition, domestic and international brands supporting e-Sand via Suncash are eligible for facial verification. It means customers can buy goods from them on PopPay.
Several reports indicate that SunCash wallets’ holders are growing by the day. As of this writing, it has more than 55k active holders, about one-seventh of Bahamians. Merchants that accept SunCash are over a thousand.
Suncash CEO Hails the New Development
Speaking about the new feature, Suncash boss Desmond Pyfrom said PoPay’s innovative technology will offer a better consumer-friendly and safe experience for customers. He added that integrating Suncash wallets into the platform will allow for efficient payments using the Sand Dollar.
“Customers will be able to purchase products even if they don’t have a functional mobile phone or have a poor internet connection.”
The development of e-Sand came due to the rising number of private virtual currencies. The central bank had to act quickly by creating theirs to combat the influx of private cryptocurrencies in the market.
Bahamas’ Sand Dollar is a retail CBDC that allows customers to make and receive payments through an electronic wallet. The payer can use their smartphone or an active debit card to manage payments.
Bahamians can open a CBDC wallet approved by the Bank of Bahamas and use it for executing transactions. Records of income and expenditure will be collected by the central bank to support the giving out of loans.
CBDCs have been widely agreed to reduce the gap between the banked and the unbanked/underbanked and facilitate cross-border payments. Over a hundred countries are currently exploring the use cases of this new electronic money phenomenon.