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ComBank powers Findmyfare

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Findmyfare, Sri Lanka’s largest online travel company, has begun accepting online payments via Quick Response (QR) codes following the Commercial Bank of Ceylon introducing the LANKAQR option to the company.

Customers purchasing flight tickets, movie tickets, hotel stays or mobile reloads on findmyfare.com can now settle their payments through the ComBank Q+ App, Sri Lanka’s first QR based payment App under LANKAQR.

This QR payment option is listed alongside other wallet payment options such as Visa and Mastercard, enabling the website to process transactions across multiple product verticals.

The ComBank Q+ App is the first QR based payment application launched under LANKAQR, the National Quick Response (QR) standard for local currency payments introduced by LankaPay under the guidance of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL).

The ComBank Q+ App allows merchants to accept payments through any QR based application compliant under LANKAQR by enabling customers to scan the merchant’s QR code with their mobile phones, and select their Credit Card, Debit Card, current account or savings account to be used to pay for the transaction. The App has been developed based on interoperable standards where merchants and consumers of different issuers and acquirers can transact through LANKAQR.

The ComBank Q+ application provides several unique features such as an option to check/verify the transaction, support of both Static and Dynamic QR options, real-time updates via a text or in-app message, real time credits to the Merchant Account that brings convenience to both the merchants and customers, mass printed QR (in Statements/ Bills Etc.), dynamic QR on demand and system integrations.

The QR code integration with the e-Commerce site will enable customers make convenient and secure purchases via the findmyfare web site, without running the risk of accidental payments, the Bank said. QR payments are safe as the customer initiates the payment process by scanning the QR code of the merchant and the transaction must be confirmed and authorised before the amount is debited.

Apart from the QR payments, the Internet Payment Gateway service provided by the Commercial Bank to Findmyfare to accept online card payments covers the authorisation of Credit and Debit cards, and processing of direct payments through Visa, Mastercard and UnionPay branded cards.

The online payment processing of www.findmyfare.com will be facilitated by the Bank through Mastercard Payment Gateway Services (MPGS) which is fully-compliant with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) requirements. It is a secure e-commerce solution as merchants are provided with ‘server-hosted pages’ whereby card details are processed on the Payment Server and not at the merchant’s end.

Since its launch in 2012, findmyfare.com has become Sri Lanka’s largest online travel company, providing the best travel deals. The portal allows customers to search, compare and book cheap flights and hotels around the world. The company was the very first in Sri Lanka to provide an online reservations facility that enabled customers to confirm bookings without a credit card payment. Findmyfare.com, made a unique mark in Sri Lanka’s travel industry by giving customers a quick, easy and reliable new way of making travel reservations.

The first Sri Lankan Bank to be listed among the Top 1000 Banks of the World and the only Sri Lankan bank to be so listed for 10 years consecutively, Commercial Bank is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. The Bank, which won more than 50 international and local awards in 2019, operates a network of 268 branches and 873 ATMs in Sri Lanka.

 



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Business

Aitken Spence invests in yet another renewable energy project in hydropower

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Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake – Deputy Chairman and Managing Director Aitken Spence PLC accepting the share transfer form from Harsha Abeywickrama – chairman Sunshine Energy Ltd; in the presence of Ms. Stasshani Jayawardena – Executive Director Aitken Spence PLC, Dr. Rohan Fernando – Executive Director Aitken Spence PLC, Ms. Nilanthi Sivapragasam – Chief Financial Officer Aitken Spence PLC and Leel Wickremarachchi – Managing Director of the power segment from Aitken Spence PLC. Shyam Sathasivam – Managing Director, Sunshine Energy Ltd. and Harin Udeshi – Director, Waltrim Energy Ltd.

Aitken Spence PLC recently acquired Waltrim Energy Limited, a subsidiary of Sunshine Holdings PLC for Rs. 900 million. The company contributes 6.6MW to the national grid via three mini hydropower plants located in the Nuwara Eliya district, namely of Waltrim Hydropower (Private) Limited, Upper Waltrim Hydropower (Private) Limited and Elgin Hydropower (Private) Limited. Waltrim hydropower draws energy from Kothmala Oya, Upper Waltrim hydropower and Elgin hydropower from Dambagasthwala Oya.

Aitken Spence expands its portfolio in hydropower in the pursuit of meeting rising energy demands, sustainable development, access to clean energy and lowering our national carbon footprint. This is the second hydropower plant which is owned and operated by Aitken Spence. Branford Hydropower (Pvt) Ltd. is the other hydropower plant with a 2.5MW capacity located in Matale. The company also owns and operates a wind power plant with 3MW capacity located in Ambewela.

“This is yet another investment made by Aitken Spence that shows our commitment to expand the power generation portfolio with renewable energy projects. Hydro power plays a key role in renewable energy segment in Sri Lanka and this initiative strengthens the country’s efforts to move towards cleaner energy sources and effective and efficient management of sustainable and affordable generation of energy supplied to the national grid,” commented Dr. Parakrama Dissanayake, Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of Aitken Spence PLC.

“Aitken Spence maintains highest environmental, safety and quality standards in the management of our power plants. These stringent management frameworks will be extended to the newly acquired power plants to meet compliance requirements as well as global benchmarks for cleaner production of energy,” added Leel Wickremarachchi, Managing Director of the power segment of Aitken Spence.

The Power segment of Aitken Spence is a leading player in the sector with a reputation for investing in pioneering technologies and has diversified into renewable energy by establishing hydro power and wind power plants to support Sri Lanka’s demand for energy. With their commitment to increase the country’s energy consumption from renewable energy sources, the company recently introduced Sri Lanka’s first waste to energy power plant that was officially launched in February 2021. Moreover, these initiatives are in line with the collective efforts of government and the private sector to produce clean energy sustainably.

 

 

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Best Woman Entrepreneur at Entrepreneur Awards 2020

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Christell Skin Clinic proved their mettle as industry leaders yet again, by clinching the three topmost awards at the recently held Western Province Entrepreneurship Awards Ceremony 2020. The highly-anticipated annual event -jointly organised by the National Enterprise Development Authority (NEDA) and the National Chamber of Commerce of Sri Lanka- took place this year at the BMICH.

The event brought together industry leaders and newcomers with the aim to recognise and honour micro, small, medium and large sector entrepreneurs that have contributed significantly to Sri Lanka’s service sector over the past year.

The country’s leading aesthetics and wellness centre took home The Best Enterprise service sector trophy, as well as the Best Entrepreneur of the Year award – the most sought-after prize of the night. More notably however, the Best Woman Entrepreneur title was awarded to the director of the Christell Skin Clinic, Dr. Shanika Arsecularatne, in recognition of her inspirational journey to becoming one of the most successful businesswomen in the country, and also of her outstanding contribution to the field of cosmetology and wellness in Sri Lanka.

“I’m truly honoured to receive this recognition, especially because I believe that no one receives an award like this out of sheer luck, but rather in acknowledgement and appreciation of the hard work, sleepless nights and sacrifices we have all made, to be where we are today,” said Dr. Arsecularatne on accepting her award.

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Plastic Modified Asphalt Concrete car park in Sri Lanka

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The car park of the Walgama Food City with its new “Paving with Plastic”

As a socially responsible corporate citizen, Cargills holds a strong commitment to serving the nation and preserving the planet for future generations. By partnering with AGC Innovate Pvt Ltd – one of the country’s leading innovative solutions providers – Cargills initiated the launch of “Paving with Plastic” as a means to address Sri Lanka’s plastic waste menace in an ecofriendly and pragmatic approach.

The benefits of plastic are irrefutable – this versatile material is ubiquitous in our everyday lives, due to it being cheap and convenient to produce as well as being highly durable and user friendly. However, once used and disposed, plastic lingers in the environment for too long and does not decompose.

As a result, the inherent problem of plastic pollution is a global crisis, with Sri Lanka generating approximately 7000 metric tons of mismanaged solid waste daily, with 6% accounting for plastic and polythene waste. Therefore, in the absence of a proper waste management system, non-recyclable plastic is dumped in large landfill sites. These sites are now exceeding their maximum capacity, and has led to pressing environmental and social concerns in the country.

As a first step to tackling this waste plastic problem, Cargills made a landmark decision to pave the Cargills Food City Carparks using Plastic Modified Asphalt Concrete, partnering with AGC Innovate.

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