Belizeans are well aware of all the major quality of life adjustments that accompanied the COVID-19 pandemic. But, as social distancing became a public health necessity, the rise in usage of computers, electronics, and the internet has altered the operation of business, education, and entertainment.

Now, the Belize Bank has created a digital wallet that makes use of your smartphone, your Belize phone number, and your 4G data. It's called E-Kyash, and a major selling point of this new payment method is that you do NOT have to be a Belize Belize Bank customer or a customer of any bank for that matter.

The way it works is that you simply visit designated E-Kyash retail operators and carry out a process that is similar to topping up your pre-paid cell phone's calling credit. After that, the user can then make purchases and payments, or send, and receive money from another E-Kyash user.

This new Belize Bank service was debuted today at a launch at the Radisson Hotel, and here's what the keynote speakers had to say about how they think it will change the local business landscape:

Lyndon Guiseppi - Chairman, Belize Bank
"This revolution has finally come to Belize, and we at the Belize Bank are once again extremely proud to be a pioneer in that regard. Why do I say a pioneer? Well, the Belize Bank was the first bank to issue credit cards in Belize. We were the first to engage in merchant-acquired business in Belize. We're the first to bring ATMs to Belize, and we're the first bank to have a nationwide network of branches. Today, in another first for us, we will be the first commercial bank in Belize to launch a fully functional mobile wallet."

Agata Ruta - Head, Digital, Retail & Corporate Banking, Belize Bank
"E-Kyash will revolutionize how payments are made in Belize. Consumers will be able to enjoy all of the benefits that E-Kyash has to offer, without the need to have an account at the bank, as the Chairman mentioned already. It's simple as downloading the application, going through the very simple registering process, using the phone number registered in Belize. Right now, I will send money. Let's say 10 dollars. Can you provide me a phone number?"


Agata Ruta
"And let's say it's E-Kyash Launch, alright. The transaction has been successful. The phone number I sent money to, the amount, and the pending approval, as I sent money to the non-user. So, the person didn't go through the registration process as yet. That's why the money is with the status of pending approval, and the status will change to successful, once you go through the whole registration process."

Kevin Bernard, the Minister responsible for E-Governance was at today's launch of the E-Kyash Digital Wallet, and he told us that his ministry is already in talks with Belize Bank and the National Bank to integrate these kinds of digital wallets as part of the GOB's push to offer important government services electronically:

Hon. Kevin Bernard - Minister of E-Governance
"One of the things I can tell [is] that we have been in constant discussion with Belize Bank, and even the National Bank, who you all are aware, is also trying to develop their own e-wallet. But, I think this is very critical. Those legislations that we passed recently also support this type of initiative in terms of digital transformation. We are at the Ministry, working very closely in terms of getting some of the services, especially in terms of vital statistics, lands department, your police record. We're looking at the company's registry and trying to come up with a national ID at some point, down the road, in terms of the digital road map that we're setting out. And definitely, these types of services will support E-Governance and the digital transformation strategy that we're putting forward. The issue is that we want to make citizens' lives easier, using technology, using digital options. And so, having somebody being able to conduct a transaction online, using an E-Kyash or a digital wallet platform, whichever - and you know. You see the ease of this is that people don't necessarily need to have a bank account at that institution, in order to be able to conduct that service."

There are 2 versions of the app that can be downloaded on Google Play or iOS App Stores.

Channel 7