Spearheaded by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, the digital EC dollar has the same value as the physical notes and it is hoped that this will give the unbanked and underbanked more ways to earn an income.
The launch took place in tandem with the Commonwealth of Dominica on Tuesday afternoon at the Montserrat National Trust. During the two-hour ceremony, ECCB officials and their local partners on Montserrat and Dominica shared their excitement for the new offering and the possibilities it opens up for the OECS.
Currently, you can sign up to be a merchant or customer at the St. Patrick’s Cooperative Credit Union Ltd. or via dcashec.com. The Bank of Montserrat is to offer the onboarding service for DCash shortly.
To demonstrate the ease and speed of use, the ECCB donated $1000 to the Rotary Club of Montserrat via DCash during a live demonstration at the launch. President Siobhan Tuitt received the funds in a matter of seconds. She thanked the bank for the contribution.
Manish Valechha of Serra Inc. said his company will approve and manage value-based digital wallets. Value-based wallets are the lowest tier of the service. With monthly transaction limits of 1000 DXCD and 2700 DXCD.
He welcomed the new product, which is being released days after his company launched it’s own digital wallet, Serra. The customer having multiple options to conduct transactions is a win, he said.
Valechha, who also owns Victor’s Supermarket said the years the stress and challenges of purchasing produce from Antiguan farmers can be a thing of the past with DCash. He said the usual process had been to get cash from a local bank, take it to the ferry and hand it over to the captain, call the farmer to let them know to collect it and hope they get there in time before the ferry returns. Now, with a simple process on a smartphone, farmers can be paid almost instantaneously.
Sharmyn Powell, Chair of the ECCB FinTech Working Group said coming into the Montserrat and Dominica pilot, there have been many lessons learned. The bank plans to work aggressively on expanding its merchant base to ensure that consumers have a variety or businesses which will accept DCash. Essential services such as gas stations, supermarkets and restaurants are some of the customers they want to onboard. They also are inviting the governments within the currency union to use DCash as an option for collecting payments and paying social security and other benefits.
ECCB Governor Timothy Antoine said the bank had not invested in DCash to make a profit but to provide another avenue for people to grow. He said the costs attached to printing and holding cash made the creation of DCash and important development for the currency union. The ECCB is the first central bank in the world to launch a digital dollar. Other central banks are now looking at what they have done with the intention of developing their own.
The available wallets for DXCD are below.
Value based wallets:
Level 0 – 1,000 DXCD (Monthly TX limit for Separate Send and Receive total value)
Level 1 – 2,700 DXCD (Monthly TX limit for Separate Send and Receive total value)
Register based wallets:
Level 1 – 3,000 DXCD (Daily TX limit for Separate Send and Receive total value)
Level 2 – 5,000 DXCD (Daily TX limit for Separate Send and Receive total value)
Level 3 – 20,000 DXCD (Daily TX limit for Separate Send and Receive total value)
Learn more about DCash at www.dcashec.com.