The Bank of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (BOSVG) says DCash, the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank’s digital version of the Eastern Caribbean (EC) dollar, can save merchants hundreds, even thousands of dollars.
“It is going to be to their benefit in a very simple way…” Managing Director of BOSVG Derry Williams said on Thursday during the official launch of DCash in St. Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG).
“I have always made the point to staff that it is vexing when I see a shopper here, a retail person, buying from a local merchant and that exchange, if it is done digitally using a card, it attracts a rate of 3 or 4%…
“That’s $3 out of every $100 goes up to the VISA… and the people may think that the bank gets much of that but we probably get 10 cents…” Williams explained.
DCash is a mobile application that allows a buyer to transfer funds digitally to a seller once both entities have a DCash wallet. Persons wishing to obtain a DCash wallet can download the mobile application for both android and Apple devices and follow the set-up procedure. You must have an email address as well. The DCash wallet can be topped up at BOSVG or participating DCash merchant.
Williams said that at this point DCash is free for persons to use as the ECCB has not yet settled on fees, and when fees are eventually incorporated it would be a fraction of the percentage now charged by the big digital payment providers.
“The merchants will stand to benefit to the extent that rather than it costing you $3 out of every $100 it would cost you something significantly less and for a merchant that can add up to be, if you are a large merchant, that can add up to be $40,000 or $50,000 and that can add up to be where you can probably employ one person or two persons and you can build out your infrastructure and make it stronger,” Williams said. He added that for customers, the transaction is seamless.
“It is going to be over time, as seamless as how we exchange physical currency among ourselves in the sense that you can stay with your phone and if you owe somebody $10 you can just basically transfer it.
“The beauty of this is that it can also facilitate the transaction if you are not there physically, so at some point with DCash you can be in Chateaubelair and pay a man in Georgetown, you can be here and pay a guy just basically by sending.”
The bank is also encouraging persons in the Diaspora to use DCash.
Williams said that locally, about 50 merchants have signed up for DCash and they are hoping to have at least 120 merchants before Christmas.
He anticipates that in the next few months, SVG will have more customers than the aggregate of all the other Member States in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU).