Mobile money apps and digital currencies are not the same thing although they both can be used from your smartphone.
Several Caribbean central banks are currently developing digital versions of their currency in the hopes of reducing the high cost of printing and securing physical paper/polymer notes. Digital currencies and other pay solutions will also help more Caribbeanpreneurs to get paid efficiently and make payments securely even without traditional bank accounts.
Mobile or emoney wallet applications require you to top up your service by using physical cash at a physical location, billing your phone provider or credit card.
Below are list of digital currencies in use in the region as well as eMoney/digital wallets available.
DCash – The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank is currently piloting its digital version of the EC dollar across several islands in the OECS. These are Antigua & Barbuda, St. Kitts & Nevis, Grenada, and Saint Lucia.
DCash will be issued by the ECCB, and distributed by licensed bank and non-bank financial institutions in the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU). It will be used for financial transactions between consumers and merchants, all using smart devices.
Island Pay (The Bahamas) boasts that its digital wallet uses the most secure tokenized payment system created to the same standard as Visa and Mastercard. According to their website, Island Pay is a Principal Mastercard member, to issue cards that consumers can use to spend locally, internationally or online, wherever traditional debit and credit cards are accepted. The card can be easily uploaded into the wallet for viewing transaction history, enabling security features and for loading funds virtually.
Jad Cash (St. Kitts & Nevis) – Once you have created your free account, use the JAD app on your iPhone or Android device to easily pay, or get paid in an instant, with little or no fees attached. It does not matter where (or if) you bank, and it works with any mobile carrier in the twin-island state. The service can be used to top up your wallet, pay your loans, transfer funds to your savings, or if you must – redeem some of your JAD funds to cash. Your wallet can be topped up at First Federal Cooperative Credit Union and SKNA National Bank.
mMoney (Barbados) – Started by Bitt, the Caribbean’s first company focused on using block chain technology, mMoney offers a solution for customers to get paid and to make purchases without a credit card or bank account. You can top up your account through your phone service provider.
WiPay (Trinidad, Barbados, Guyana, Jamaica, St. Lucia) – This company has moved beyond being a local peer to peer platform started in Trinidad & Tobago into a Caribbean brand intending to change how Caribbeanpreneurs do business and get paid. In early 2021, they launched a campaign to get 1000 Caribbean businesses online with an all-in-one website and ecommerce solution.
Do you know of other mobile money applications in use across the Caribbean? We want to know. Send us an email at hello at trulycaribbean.net.