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Arimac innovates and Rredefines the Sri Lankan banking industry

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Mobile payments have seen an increased development after the world faced the COVID-19 crisis in 2020. In the new socially distanced world, customers swiftly moved to digital solutions, whether it was for purchasing groceries or indulging in entertainment. Many businesses had to digitally transform themselves to keep up with the “no contact” way of functioning. “Within ten years, the objects used to make physical payments, be it plastic cards, paper cash, or metal coins will be obsolete, with most of that obsolescence happening over the next five years. Arimac currently has partnered with several multinational companies that have already started the trend of digitalization. This isn’t science fiction either. Look no further than Asia for examples of countries where most commerce is transacted through the mobile phone. At Arimac, we are excited to be at the forefront, leading the Sri Lankan fintech industry to the next stage of digitalization,” says Chamira Jayasinghe, Founder/CEO of Arimac.

One such partnership is Arimac’s collaboration with People’s Bank to launch the People’s Pay digital wallet, enabling individuals and businesses to transact electronically and store their data safely. Through the People’s Bank mobile wallet, customers can now check their account balances, transfer funds, pay utility bills as well as manage accounts at other banks. Additionally, customers can also conveniently carry out mobile reloads, bill payments, and QR code payments. Merchants are also provided a host of user-friendly features including registration requests within the app, history and overview based on the currency, same-day refunds, and QR code generation with the convenience of using the same app for both personal and merchant financial management.

Providing customers with enhanced biometric security features, such as fingerprint scanning and facial recognition, the mobile wallet is also equipped with AI technology that would facilitate customers to verify all the information that is uploaded onto the platform as well as capture the users’ digital signatures. The app’s onboarding security features will be further enhanced to facilitate EKYC and VKYC modules for additional identity verification.

“We developed this app in the course of just two months. It normally takes around 8 months to develop a fully functional mobile wallet; however, the team was determined to meet the timeline that was given to us and worked tirelessly to achieve this. We are currently working on enhancing the features even further by transforming the standard mobile wallet to a complete banking solutions app. This will transform the way people handle money and redefine the Sri Lankan banking industry. We are excited to have partnered with People’s Bank to pioneer this groundbreaking technology to the Sri Lankan market,” says Chamira Jayasinghe.

The wallet is fully compliant with all regulatory and cyber security requirements and is approved by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka. Available on all mobile platforms and compatible in Sinhala, English and Tamil, the People’s Pay Mobile Wallet is the ideal tool to manage all your online transactions.



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Seven factors of concern at upcoming Monetary Policy Review

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by Sanath Nanayakkare

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) is scheduled to announce its latest monetary policy review on 20th January 2022, with all eyes on dwindling foreign reserves and foreign currency exchange in the country.

In this context, First Capital Research has named 7 factors of concern that could be taken into account at the upcoming monetary policy review. They are as follows.

* Foreign Reserves USD 3.1 billion – Dec 2021

* Inflation CCPI 12.1% – Dec 2021

* GDP Growth -1.5% – 3Q2021

* Private Credit LKR 60.5 billion – Nov 2021

* 03M T-Bill rate 8.38% as at 12.01.22

Liquidity and CBSL Holdings LKR -364.0 billion and LKR 1.42 trillion

Balance of Trade (BOT) and Balance of Payment (BOP) USD -6.5 billion and USD -3.3 billion for Jan-Oct 21

First Capital Research’s Policy Rate Forecast – Jan 2022-Apr 2022 notes that they believe the CBSL may highly consider tightening the monetary policy rates in this policy review but given the concerns over economic growth, there is a probability of 40% for CBSL to maintain its policy stance at current levels.

“With high frequent indicators improving in line with expectations, we have eliminated any probability of a rate cut. We expect a continued increase in probability for a rate hike in order to prevent overheating of the economy amidst the given fiscal and monetary stimulus,” they said.

As per First Capital’s view, CBSL either can choose to hike policy rates by 50bps or 100bps or hold policy rates steady, while a rate cut is off the table due to the high debt repayment and the high domestic borrowing requirement.

First Capital believes that there is a 60% probability for a rate hike due to the remedial actions required in achieving external stability.

However, there is also a 40% probability to maintain the policy rates at its current level in order to further improve the high frequency indicators.30%, they noted.

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Sri Lanka’s dash brand enters international markets

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Multichemi International Ltd, which manufactures and distributes a wide range of products under dash, one of Sri Lanka’s leading detergent and household care brands, has begun exporting its products to several international markets in Asia and Oceania, with plans also to enter Africa. The dash brand includes a wide range of products in car care, household care, home fragrances and laundry care sectors. Multichemi International Ltd, which has been awarded ISO 9001:2015 certification, is a Sri Lankan pioneer in environment-friendly cleaning products, having launched the country’s first biodegradable, safe cleaning products over 28 years ago.

Amila Wijesinghe, General Manager of the Company said,”Having conquered the domestic market, we are now ready to capture the international market. We are confident that our products which are of high quality will receive a good demand overseas as well. The feedback we have received so far from our overseas customers is extremely encouraging. We are dedicated to taking our products to the international market, to bring in foreign currency to the country and help uplift the economy”,

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Janaka Abeysinghe appointed SLT CEO

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Sri Lanka Telecom PLC has announced the appointment of Janaka Abeysinghe as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO) with effect from February 1, 2022.

The incumbent CEO Kiththi Perera will be overseas on leave for a period of two years to pursue higher studies, according to a stock market filing by the company.

Abeysinghe joined SLT in 1991. In his present role, he leads the enterprise and wholesale business of SLT that provides integrated voice and data solutions to enterprises, government institutions, domestic telco operators and global wholesale carriers.

In his career at SLT spanning 29 years, he has held a number of senior positions, including general manager Enterprise and International Sales and has extensive experience in the areas of Enterprise Digital Services, Enterprise Communications Solutions, Data Communications, Business Development, Domestic and International Switching Operations and Global Wholesale Voice & Data Business.

He holds a Master’s Degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Kansas, USA and a BSc degree in Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering with a First Class Honours from the University of Moratuwa.

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