On March 25, 2021-The Bahamas Digital Payment Platform (DigiPay) has officially been fully integrated into the Courts. It is a significant achievement for the Bahamian judicial system as clients now can pay fees with credit or debit cards. This provides relief to clients who, for years, were inconvenienced because cash was the only acceptable form of payment.
Registrar Camille Darville-Gomez spoke on the impact of this new accomplishment for the Courts; even though the use of debit and credit cards had been widely accepted in the most businesses and administration offices in The Bahamas, that has sadly not been the reality at any of the Courts in the Bahamas.
Therefore comparing litigants and attorneys to the Magistrates Court, the Supreme Court, and the Court of Appeal can pay court filing fees and other fees, fines and traffic-tickets via debit or credit card. The convenience of The Bahamas Digital Payment-Platform cannot be overestimated.
It is expected that in the future, with prior infrastructural enhancements, these payments can be made online. In any event, the Judipy offered service to the customers in New Providence with expansion into Grand Bahama very soon.”
The DigiPay platform is owned by the Government and was designed and developed by a young Bahamian technologist, Kristie Powell. Her success in implementing this breakthrough technology is a testament to the homegrown Bahamian brilliance in this country. The government will be showcasing her talents on a large scale throughout numerous agencies.
DigiPay provides a single, unified system for customers to pay for government services with debit or credit cards or to use cash at any participating third-party vendors (Omni, Suncash and Island Pay). Payments are received and recorded in the Government’s accounting ledger.
Clients receive their invoices and receipts through SMS text messages and emails with the ability to download and print their tickets. Cash payments are still available in some agencies; however, the use of cash will be reduced over time to limit the potential for fraud and modernize revenue collection for the Government.
DigiPay has also facilitated the payment of the government’s Interoperability Pilot Program, which allows applications for government services to be made and paid for online. Bahamians can now apply online for driver’s licence renewals along with birth, death and marriage certificates.
“DigiPay is the future of revenue collection for The Bahamas Government! This is another milestone accomplishment towards a digitized future. DigiPay’s streamlined approach to cashless transactions will have a positive impact on revenue collections and move the entire government forward on its journey toward a digital Bahamas,” said Senator James Kwasi Thompson, Minister of State for Finance.
The Digipay platform will soon be able to process transactions in the Central Bank’s digital currency, Sand Dollars. As a major stakeholder, the government is excited to partner with the Central Bank on the country’s first-ever digital currency rollout.
Eventually, DigiPay will be able to conduct direct payments and receive funds via the Bahamas Automated Clearing House facility.
As the platform continues to add momentum, more government ministries, departments, and agencies are looking to onboard DigiPay to improve the public’s ease of doing business.
Next to implement the new system are the Port Department, the Department of Inland Revenue for Real Property Tax Collection, the Customs Department, the Road Traffic Department, the Registrar General Department, the Department of Labor and the Royal Bahamas Police Force. The DigiPay team is excited to work with these agencies to bring their revenue collection needs into the twentieth century.