Sri Lanka’s most innovative bank, HNB PLC, announced that it had successfully linked its increasingly popular digital Payment App, SOLO, with the newly launched Lanka QR standard.
Working in unison with the entire Sri Lankan banking and financial industry, the launch of Lanka QR is set to accelerate the adoption of QR code payments across the entire country and lay the foundation for the rapid expansion of digital wallets and cashless payments in Sri Lanka.
“For several years now, HNB has been among those leading the charge on cashless payments in Sri Lanka, leveraging on the rising popularity of our digital wallet, HNB SOLO. With the launch of a common standard for all digital wallets, the Central Bank has cleared the way for merchants of all sizes to revolutionize payments across the nation.
“This is a remarkable achievement that will create unprecedented opportunity and convenience for SOLO users. We commend CBSL officials for enabling such a paradigm shifting evolution in the payments space, and stand fully geared to support this major paradigm shift in cashless payments in Sri Lanka,” HNB Deputy General Manager – Retail and SME Banking, Sanjay Wijemanne stated.
Lanka QR is a common Quick Response (QR) code standard adopted by financial institutions in Sri Lanka to facilitate fast, secure and low cost digital payments to any merchant, especially small and medium enterprises.
It enables customers to pay merchants directly from their bank accounts using a LANKAQR compliant mobile payment app. The payment is instantly credited to the merchant’s bank account. The LANKAQR printed sticker is provided free of charge to merchants to display at their place of business by the member institutions of LANKAQR.
To pay using LANKAQR, a customer has to scan the LANKAQR using mobile payment apps like HNB SOLO. Upon completion, merchants will receive an instant SMS notification, confirming the receipt of payment.
Coming at a time when the need for social distancing has become paramount in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the linking up of HNB SOLO to the common Lanka QR standard is expected to drive rapid adoption of QR-based payments broadly among merchants, and simultaneously expand the user base of HNB SOLO over the coming weeks and months.
Since its launch in 2019, SOLO has experienced rapid adoption, and the bank has continuously bolstered features, functionality while refining its user interface in order to make QR-based payments intuitive, easy-to-use and versatile. HNB has also provided extensive rewards to its growing user base through cashback offers. Users can also pay utility bills and mobile recharges in addition to a host of other exciting features.
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. The bank has continuously won prestigious accolades including being declared Best Retail Bank in Sri Lanka for 2020 by the Asian Banker Magazine for the eleventh occasion in addition to being the highest ranked privately-owned commercial bank in Sri Lanka by the prestigious Banker Magazine Top 1000 global rankings 2020. Locally, HNB claimed seven awards at the Best Corporate Citizen Sustainability Awards 2019. The first Sri Lankan bank to obtain an international credit rating, HNB is rated on par with the sovereign by Moody’s Investors Service, and the national long term rating of the bank was revised upward by two notches to AA+ (lka) recently by Fitch Ratings (Lanka) Ltd.
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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