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158% increase in volume of transactions across digital payment channels

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Number of transactions on digital channels increase by 153%

Decisive shift in preference for contactless and cashless payment solutions

Over 250 enterprises successfully digitalized processes after the onset of the pandemic

Resistance to cashless transactions has rapidly given way to enthusiastic usage as an unprecedented number of Sri Lankans are switching to digital banking channels, according to HNB Head of Cards, Gauthami Niranjan.

Compared with 2020, the volume of transactions on digital channels grew by a remarkable 158% Year-on-Year (YoY) in 2021, while the value of digital transactions increased by a corresponding 153% YoY.

“Given that HNB had already captured the lion’s share of the market in digital merchant acquisition even before the pandemic, we leveraged these experiences to ensure that even businesses which were initially unsure of digital payments were able to seamlessly adapt and integrate these technologies into their total business model. The results of these efforts are compelling as reflected in the massive uptake in digital payment options- both from customers and businesses,” Niranjan said.

HNB IPG (Internet Payment Gateway) recorded a growth over 100% in merchants during the period, with businesses embracing the secure payment channel and services offered by the bank for online payments from any local or international debit, credit, VISA and MasterCard.

Similarly, merchants improved their cashless payment options with HNB MOMO, especially for cash on delivery services. As a result, the mobile solution for electronic payment cards holds a 50% market share in low-cost mobile POS terminals in Sri Lanka.

Such a rapid proliferation of digital payments creates a compelling financial incentive for almost any enterprise – particularly as an affinity for cashless transactions expands out of major urban centres and into all parts of the country.

“Developments in cashless payments are still only emerging. However, technologies like tokenisation – technology at the heart of ride-hailing and food delivery apps – is likely to expand in the coming months as more local businesses launch dedicated apps with payment features built-in. This is another area in which we have supported some of the most successful tech-based enterprises in the country by enabling card details to be securely linked to convenient payment portals.

“These dynamics will ultimately provide valuable and much-needed benefits for a broad spectrum of Sri Lankan enterprise – from small businesses and self-employed individuals to hospitality providers, large and small – and ultimately promote a broader and more resilient and equitable economic recovery. However, the barrier for entry into a digital transaction has never been lower, and our goal is to make sure that all Sri Lankan enterprises can compete in this new paradigm,” Niranjan concluded.

With 252 customer centres across the country, HNB is one of Sri Lanka’s largest, most technologically innovative banks, having won local and global recognition for its efforts to drive forward a new paradigm in digital banking. Over the recent past, the bank was ranked among the World Top 1,000 Banks list compiled by the prestigious UK-based Banker Magazine. HNB has a national rating of AA- (lka) by Fitch Ratings (Lanka) Ltd.

HNB was also declared Best Sub-Custodian Bank in Sri Lanka at the Global Finance Awards 2020, in addition to winning the coveted Best Retail Bank in Sri Lanka Award for the 11th time at the Asian Banker Awards 2020, in recognition of its sustainable growth and continuous improvements in processes, products and services amidst a challenging macroeconomic environment.



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Assetline Leasing recognised at SLIM People’s Awards

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Assetline Leasing Company Limited (ALCL) was nominated for “SLIM People’s Financial Services Provider of the Year” category at the recently held SLIM People’s Awards 2021 at BMICH, Colombo.

As a specialized leasing company with a network of 53 branches located Islandwide, ALCL has been able to carve a name for itself as a leading financial services providers by continuing to fulfill the financial needs people from all walks of life with an innovative and reliable portfolio of leasing and loan products that are geared to improve the livelihood of individuals and families whilst enriching their lifestyles. Access to financial services, particularly by SMEs and entrepreneurs, has always been a key area of ALCL’s focus.

Commenting on the achievement, Ajantha Premasiri, Chief Marketing Officer, ALCL, said; “We would like to extend our sincere gratitude to our valuable and loyal customers, business partners and team Assetline for their unwavering support in securing this nomination in the category of “SLIM People’s Financial Services Provider of the year”.

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DIMO forum focuses on youth skills for employment and entrepreneurship

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DIMO celebrated ‘World Youth Skills Day’ by shining the spotlight on the importance of equipping the youth with skills for employment, decent work and entrepreneurship, through a webinar titled ‘Job Demand and Vocational Education – Fuelling Dreams and Aspirations of the Youth’, held recently.

The keynote speaker at the webinar was a renowned expert in the industry, Mangala P.B. Yapa the Director General / CEO of Employers’ Federation of Ceylon, while the panel consisted of leading Human Resources professionals Dilrukshi Kurukulasuriya the Chief Human Resources Officer of DIMO, Chinthaka Premaratne the Group Director Human Resources of Fairway Holdings and Ishan Dantanarayana the Group Chief People Officer of Brandix. The event was moderated by Yohan Thilakaratne the Head of Corporate Communications of DIMO. Vocational Training is a key attribute in DIMO’s sustainability agenda and the forum ‘Job Demand and Vocational Education – Fuelling Dreams and Aspirations of the Youth’ was the latest initiative of DIMO to empower the dynamic youth with the correct skills.

During his keynote address, Mangala P.B. Yapa stated, “Knowledge, skills and employment are 3 elements that are inter-connected in a complex manner. Today, knowledge has surpassed skills and therefore, receives prominence. However, I believe that knowledge which does not develop skills, does not do justice to society. Through vocational education, what we attempt to do is to develop both knowledge and skills.”

 

 

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CA Sri Lanka Annual Report Awards makes a comeback this year

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In its continuing determination to crown the most brilliant financial reports produced in the country, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Sri Lanka (CA Sri Lanka) will present the prestigious Annual Reports Awards competition this year, incorporating new concessions on account of COVID-19, whilst also automating the marking system for the first time in the competition’s history.

Applications for the 56th Annual Report Awards competition 2021 will be accepted from 15th August 2021 onwards. Organisations ranging from multinationals to blue-chip companies, conglomerates, small and medium businesses, state corporations, statutory bodies and even NGOs and NPOs which produce annual reports can vie for this year’s top honours.

Known to promote transparency, corporate governance, sustainability and social responsibility, the competition’s grand comeback this year was announced at a press conference on Tuesday.

The Annual Report Awards commands a history of over half a century, but following COVID, the Institute decided not to proceed with the competition last year on grounds that the competition would not yield the required benefits for the participating companies due to the challenges stemming from the pandemic and the related crisis.

Addressing the press conference, Jayesinghe said that as the sole authority to promulgate accounting and auditing standards in Sri Lanka, the Institute has taken every effort necessary to implement a world class accounting framework, which will result in long-term benefits to the country including bringing in vital investments such as FDIs.

He said that an annual report is recognised as the single most important document for readers and potential investors to understand the financial state of a company as well as its positive contribution not only towards the company’s bottom line but also to the country and society.

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