A workgroup of the Dutch Central Bank, the Dutch and island governments, banks, Chambers of Commerce, business, industry and retail sectors, utility companies, and the police took several measures to create a more efficient payment system in the Caribbean Netherlands. Since the constitutional reform of October 10, 2010, the Dutch Central Bank is responsible for the efficiency of the payment system on Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba. To this effect, The Central Bank’s branch on Bonaire, DNB Bonaire, established a Workgroup Payment System for the Caribbean Netherlands.
The purpose of this group was to in particular achieve a more efficient payment system in cooperation with all partners in the market. The agreements reached in the workgroup are designed to encourage the public to choose the most efficient method of payment. Often this will be electronic payment. Therefore, a checking account is being encouraged. Banks already offer accounts from US $2 per month. On the other hand, rates of lessefficient payment methods, such as cash and checks, will be brought more into line with the actual cost. Banks are allowed to charge customers for money transfers and the withdrawal of amounts of cash at the counter. From October 1, cheques will only be available for businesses at a cost of $2.50 per checks. Coins will be supplied in standard packages. To make payments easier and less costly for retailers and banks, store owners can make use of the option of rounding off prices at checkout to 5 cents. All prices in the shop remain the same. Only the total amount that is to be paid in cash at checkout will be rounded off. The rounding-off rules have been set in such a way that the average cost for customers will remains the same. The rules are as follows: amounts of one and two cents will be rounded off to zero; amounts of three or four cents will be rounded off to five, while five-cent amounts remain unchanged. Amounts of six and seven cents will be rounded off to five cents; whereas amounts of eight or nine cents will be rounded off at 10 cents. Stores that are rounding off should indicate such at the entrance to inform the public of this policy. Shops are not obligated to round off. A brochure will be available at all banks with a more detailed explanation.
Source: “The Daily Herald” 2012-09-12