At the handing over of test kits at the embassy, standing from left to right are Jo Yongjin, Senior Manager; Aiden Park, Team Leader of Social Value Unit; . Hyeonseo Ku, Vice President of SK E&S of SK Group; ambassador Dr. Mendis; Rekha Mallikarachchi, Commercial Counsellor and Sasanga Nikapitiya, Head of Chancery of the embassy.
The SK Group of South Korea, the third largest conglomerate/chaebol in the country, gifted 10,000 test kits to the embassy of Sri Lanka in the Republic of Korea to be used in Sri Lanka to contain and to control the COVID-19, since a sudden upsurge of COVID-19 cases had taken place. The SK E&S of the SK Group shipped the test kits to Sri Lanka, last week, by air since the test kits had to be delivered within a space of 72 hours.
The total cost of the test kits was over USD 120,000 and the handing over ceremony took place at the embassy of Sri Lanka in Seoul. The Vice President of SK E&S of SK Group, Hyeonseo Ku, handed over the relevant documentation with a billboard of the donation to the ambassador of Sri Lanka to the Republic of Korea, Dr. A. Saj U. Mendis, in the presence of senior officials both from the SK Group and the embassy of Sri Lanka. The test kits manufactured in the Republic of Korea are known to be among the best and most efficacious in the world. These test kits were sent to the Head of National Operation Centre for Prevention of COVID-19, who is the Commander of the Sri Lanka Army and Acting Chief of Defense Staff, General Shavendra Silva. The Commercial Counsellor, Rekha Mallikarachchi, and Ambassador Dr. Mendis solicited the SK Group to effect the gifting of the aforementioned test kits for COVID-19 to be used in Sri Lanka. The president and CEO of SK E&S, J.J. Yu, and the Board of Directors were receptive to the request made by the embassy since the embassy had close official relations with the SK Group.
The SK Group has the second largest market capitalization in the Republic of Korea and has recorded revenue of nearly USD 220 billion in 2019 as well as employs nearly 100,000 in over 100 countries. The SK Group has stellar global reputation in businesses ranging from chemicals, petroleum, energy, wireless mobile services, financial services, telecommunications, construction, shipping to semi-conductors, among others. The SK Group has expressed, unequivocal, interest to construct a mega LNG project in Sri Lanka on Build-Owned-Operate-Transfer (BOOT) at a total cost of USD 600 million. Since Dr. Mendis had a number of meetings with the top most management of the SK Group in this context, the aforementioned LNG project would provide, once completed, 930 MW and would extend semi-skilled and skilled employment to over 1,000 nationals of Sri Lanka. The aforementioned 10,000 test kits for COVID-19 were gifted by the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) known as Social Value Unit of the SK Group.
Sampath Bank continues to partner Central Bank on promoting QR payments
Sampath Bank PLC joined hands with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) yet again to raise awareness and increase acceptance and usage of LANKAQR, the common Quick Response (QR) code standard for the country that was introduced in 2020.
Encouraging consumers to adopt LANKAQR for their day to day transactions, Sampath Bank held a 2-day promotional drive at one of Colombo’s latest outdoor dining destinations, Dining Capsule at Baladaksha Mawatha, near Galle Face Green on the 23rd and 24th of January.
Dharmasri Kumaratunga, Director – Payments and Settlements, Central Bank of Sri Lanka; Nanda Fernando, Managing Director, Sampath Bank PLC; and Tharaka Ranwala, Head of Operations and Group Chief Marketing Officer, Sampath Bank PLC, took part in the ceremonial launch of this initiative together with other senior representatives.
The Bank offered 25% cash back on payments made with the LANKAQR-enabled Sampath WePay digital payments mobile application at Dunhinda Colombo, Roots, Grand Monarch, Street Wok, Lavinia, Spice Junction, Giovanni’s Pizza al Taglio and BoxBar outlets at the Dining Capsule during this period.
“Offering greater convenience and security, technology continues to transform the way we conduct our day to day transactions. This is becoming increasingly true in Sri Lanka too, where consumers and businesses are actively adopting digital payments,” said Nanda Fernando, Managing Director, Sampath Bank PLC. “At Sampath Bank we have always focused on leveraging emerging technologies and delivering market relevant solutions that add value to our customers around the island. In line with this, we are delighted to partner with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka on driving the acceptance and usage of LANKAQR.”
“Across Sri Lanka, a growing number of merchants and consumers are getting on board the LANKAQR ecosystem and beginning to appreciate the value offered by QR based payments. We are witnessing this phenomenon with Sampath WePay, the secure, one stop digital wallet from Sampath Bank that allows users to store all types of financial instruments from any bank and carry out a wide range of real-time online transactions.
Taking cashless transactions across the country
The Central Bank of Sri Lanka in coordination with leading financial institutions and telcos in the country set in motion the ‘Rata Purama LANKAQR’ promotional campaign with a monumental event on January, 23. The ‘Rata Purama LANKAQR’ initiative represents the second phase of an island-wide campaign commenced late last year to introduce LANKAQR as the standard for mobile phone and digital payments countrywide, in moving towards a cashless and digitally-savvy society plus greater financial inclusion across Sri Lanka.
Held at Diyatha Uyana, Battaramulla, the event was graced by the Chief Guest, Ajith Nivard Cabraal, State Minister of Money & Capital Market and State Enterprise Reforms, Ms. Yvette Fernando, Deputy Governor CBSL and the chairperson of the National Payments Council, D. Kumaratunge, Director Payments and Settlements – CBSL, and Thilak Piyadigama, chairman – CBSL appointed LANKAQR Committee/CEO SDB bank, among other distinguished guests.
The Colombo-leg of the LANKAQR national campaign, drawing on the participation of numerous high-profile guests plus the island’s top banks and financial institutions, aimed to advance the program’s overall vision of promoting digital transactions as the new norm and included city-wide promotions, covering major commercial locations in and around the city.
Developed by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, LANKAQR is a common Quick Response (QR) code standard, and its adoption by most major financial institutions in Sri Lanka is a progressive step on the path to Sri Lankans fully embracing a future that is inevitably digital, gradually leading to an entirely cashless mode of transaction.
The LANKAQR system will allow banks, financial institutions and telcos, through their digital payment apps and platforms, to facilitate fast, secure and low cost digital payments to any merchant or service provider. LANKAQR provides customers with a mechanism for payment for all their needs ranging from groceries, healthcare to utilities, and even the purchase of goods from street-side vendors, directly from their bank account through the use of any LANKAQR-compliant mobile payment app.
SLT-MOBITEL gives ‘Power to Your Dreams’ with special connectivity offers
SLT-MOBITEL is all set to launch the ‘Power to Your Dreams – සිහිනයට සවියක්’ campaign to provide the latest connectivity solutions to microbusinesses on the of January, 25 the company announced recently. This program will provide ICT solutions packages encompassing products and services essential for microbusinesses, at maximum affordability.
Understanding the connectivity needs of the microbusiness segment, the promotion provides them solutions that fulfil their requirements. Accordingly, communication, business networking, cloud technology, entertainment & IoT, communications devices and business infrastructure services for various market segments within the microbusiness ecosystem is provided utilising SLT-MOBITEL products and services such as voice & mobile telephony, 4G LTE, SLT Broadband, SLT Fibre and Peo TV services.
Speaking on the planned promotion, Sanjeewa Jayamaha, General Manager – SME Business Development, Sri Lanka Telecom stated, “Microbusinesses are the bedrock of Sri Lanka’s economic activity, supporting day to day transactions for millions of people. It is vitally important that they receive the full benefit of the connectivity solutions offered by the national ICT solutions provider, Sri Lankan Telecom. The brand unification of SLT-MOBITEL means now we can offer a full bouquet of products and services to our clients. This promotion will ensure that microbusinesses from various segments can now access the connectivity solutions most important for their businesses to thrive.”
Microbusinesses operating in entertainment and leisure, fashion and beauty, daily essentials, medical and health care, education, special occasion services, financial services, e-commerce and software development, professional services, construction support and transportation and delivery services will be able to benefit from bespoke packages crafted by SLT-MOBITEL with their specific industry needs taken into consideration.
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