The Government of Montserrat has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Barbados-based Bitt, a cryptocurrency company, to launch a digital payments ecosystem in the Caribbean island.

Both parties will collaborate with private entities, commercial banks and the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) for the development of the payments system over a period of three years.

Bitt will further work together with the island’s government to create a pilot programme that will include testing of Digital Eastern Caribbean Dollars’ (DXCD) viability and functionality in its financial ecosystem.

In addition, the firm will carry out proof-of-concept studies, along with assessing the effectiveness of proposed implementations.

When implemented, the new payments system is expected to enable use of Bitt’s mMoney mobile wallet for local, digital payments.

Montserrat Premier and Finance Minister Donaldson Romeo said: “The decision to move closer to a cashless society is in keeping with our overall development strategy, and also that of the ECCB.

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“The need for cash or for everyday transactions like purchases, or sending money locally to your loved ones, would be eliminated, as you would be able to use Bitt’s mMoney mobile wallet for free peer-to-peer transfers of money using your smartphone, tablet or computer.”