Montserrat Gets First Crack at Testing New Digital EC Dollar
The Government of Montserrat (GOM) announced recently a pilot project to test the use of the DXCD on island. This follows the historic signing of a partnership between the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) and the Barbados-based fintech firm BITT in February 2019 to launch the digital dollar.
BITT is to digitise a portion of the ECCB’s currency as part of an 18-month trial. It is to be rolled out to Grenada, Antigua & Barbuda, St. Kitts & Nevis and St. Lucia in part two of the project. Prior to this, Montserrat will get the first chance at test driving the digital currency. While the ECCB looks to the technology of the digital dollar issuance, the Government of Montserrat has agreed to test the practical application and use of digital dollars. The aim is to enable every day consumers to try using digital dollars to make daily purchases.
Montserrat signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with BITT back in 2017, to create a digital payments ecosystem. The goal is to achieve financial inclusion and reduce cash usage. Both objectives are part of the overall development strategy of Montserrat and the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), read a release from the Office of the Premier.
BITT has been working with the Government of Montserrat and other domestic stakeholders, such as the private sector, commercial banks, and the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB), to create a digital payments ecosystem in Montserrat.
The Government of Montserrat is inviting the public to participate in a progressive initiative aimed at boosting financial inclusion and improving the ease of doing business in Montserrat and across the Eastern Caribbean. This initiative is both historic and essential to the future socio-economic well-being of the people of Montserrat, the release stated.
1. In this initial phase, eligible Government employees are invited to volunteer to have a portion of their salaries – up to XCD100 – will be sent directly to their mMoney mobile wallets on their smartphones, at no cost to them.
2. These volunteers would be asked to indicate their desire to participate in the pilot, to the Treasury Dept.
3. These volunteers would then be contacted by a BITT representative to facilitate the on boarding process of the mMoney digital wallet on their smartphone.
4. The funds will be sent to their mMoney wallet as agreed, and the volunteers would then be able to use the XCD 100 on their mMoney wallet at various Merchants across Montserrat (specific Merchants to be announced).
BITT and the Government of Montserrat will monitor the progress of the pilot and make a determination in a few months, as to whether to expand the pilot to include more wallet users and merchants. This is an opportunity to be part of a pilot, which is the first of its kind globally, at no cost and no risk to the users. There is no cost to receive a portion of your salary on your mMoney wallet, no cost to pay a Merchant for goods using mMoney, no cost to send money to another EC dollar mMoney wallet holder, and no cost to cash-out at an mMoney Merchant Teller.
If your are interested contact the Treasury Department at E. Karney Osborne Building, Little Bay–Tel491-2663/2454 or Email email@example.com indicate your desire to participate in the pilot.
The digital payments ecosystem, once implemented, will include a number of free services. Consumers need only to download BITT’s free mMoney mobile wallet app from Google Playstore and Apple Appstore to access the free services including: sending money to loved ones locally or within the ECCU, paying for goods and services, and adding funds to their wallet, and cashing-out of the wallet at participating
The Government of Montserrat is inviting members of the public service to volunteer to participate in this important pilot rollout of BITT’s mMoney solution. For further information click the link https://www.bitt.com/assets/Montserrat_Bitt_Communiqué.pdf .