HAVANA.—The elimination of the dual currency and exchange in the country is a critical task for the Cuban banking system, Ernesto Medina, minister-president of the Central Bank of Cuba (BCC), stated. Speaking to AIN on how the bank is preparing for “day zero,” Medina explained that a working group has been created, which is working jointly with the State’s Central Administration organizations participating in the process. He stated that the organizations should unreservedly support the implementation of monetary unification, which will require logistical effort in all stages of the process.

It is logical to establish the Cuban peso as the only currency. If retail prices continue at their current level, this will require more pesos to be in circulation. The possibility of producing notes in higher denominations is therefore being considered, he stated. We are looking to promote the use of magnetic swipe cards, through the establishment of Point of Sale Terminals (POS) in certain places, therefore avoiding the use of cash and facilitating operations, Me­dina added. He emphasized that the bank is working with the Ministry of National Trade, the Electric Union, the Cuban Telecommunications Company, among other organizations and entities in this regard, in order to incorporate the POS in commercial locations. Me­dina stated that currently the BCC is coordinating with FINCIMEX, the company responsible for the purchase and installation of the POS, which already has a number of machines valued at 300 dollars each.

He emphasized that the elimination of the dual currency in Cuba will not affect bank accounts, as they will be automatically converted, in order to protect clients. He also mentioned other measures which are currently underway, such as research into indicators measuring currency circulation, “which will indicate the accuracy of the current levels of monetary circulation in the population and the business sector.”

Medina also noted that the banking system is focused on macroeconomic measures, given that financial institutions must have the necessary assets available to meet the new credit capacity demanded by the economy. According to experts, currency unification, a policy established in the Guideline No.55, is a necessary process which will enable the maximum effectiveness of the other measures currently underway to update the country’s economic model. (AIN)