Pilot of digital EC dollar launched in Antigua
The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) has launched a pilot digital version for the Eastern Caribbean dollar, using its latest app “DXCDCaribe” at a Digital EC Summit last Thursday.
The digital wallet, as it was described, can be downloaded from the Google App Store on any smart device and can be used to scan and pay for goods and services.
Governor of the ECCB, Timothy Antoine said the app is grounded in the bank’s focus on financial innovation and digital transformation.
“When you look at the payment landscape in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) versus the rest of the world, we know that cashless transactions per capita lags [behind] the rest of the world; certainly, the high-income countries and even in what we call the high drill income countries.
“We know as we speak 80-90 percent of all transactions in this region … are paper based, that is to say, cash or cheque. And I will add that not only are we lagging [behind] the rest of the world, but payments are too expensive in this region,” Antoine stated.
Governor Antoine also highlighted the excessive cost that is associated with paying for goods and services in the EC region as a deterrent to growth.
“It ought not and cannot be that one cent is disproportionate amongst his or her earnings on payment services. In other words, if I have $100, I want to spend that $100 on the goods or service I wish to consume, not on paying for the payment of the goods and service I wish to consume.
“That is what happens now when you walk into a store and you want to swipe using an electronic beam and they tell you it’s going to be 3 or 5 percent. Well often they don’t tell you, but that is exactly what it is,” he added.
The app on the other hand, will allow for payments to be deducted from your wallet balance and credited to the merchant’s wallet balance.
In addition, all transactions will be updated in real time, which means users will be able to see their current available balance almost immediately.
Most importantly, the ECCB Governor explained that access to the app is expected to offer maximum security to its users.
He said: “Access to the network will be permissioned, will require user name and password and transactions between parties will be guaranteed. Identities will be verifiable so you will be private. We will be operating on a private commission blockchain to ensure confidentiality but built into that system is that we, the regulator, can verify.”
The “DXCDCaribe” app is being rolled out just mere months after the ECCB started issuing the new polymer notes in the eight Eastern Caribbean Currency Union countries. (The Daily Observer)