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HSBC launches Sri Lanka’s first recycled plastic payment cards to support net zero ambitions 

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HSBC today announced the rollout of sustainable payment cards made from 85% recycled plastic in Sri Lanka. The new cards, with a vertical design, will be initially issued to HSBC’s Premier customers in April and subsequently to all other credit/debit card customers, later this year.

The rollout is part of a new programme launched by the bank to introduce sustainable payment cards across all its global locations. By the end of 2026 HSBC will eliminate single-use PVC plastic, in favour of recycled PVC plastic (rPVC).

The programme – which includes HSBC’s debit, credit and commercial cards – is part of the bank’s strategy to reduce its carbon emissions and achieve net zero in its operations and supply chain by 2030 or sooner.

Working with global cards manufacturer IDEMIA, the bank will introduce new cards gradually across its locations. Rollout started in Malaysia in January 2021, and will continue in Sri Lanka this month; followed by the UK this summer. It will then extend across further countries and markets by the end of 2021, including Australia, Canada, Indonesia, Macau, Mexico, Singapore, UAE and US.

Based on the current volume of cards issued by HSBC globally per year (23m), the move to rPVC will reduce CO2 emissions by 161 tonnes a year. Each card will also reduce plastic waste – 73 tonnes per year, that’s the weight of over 40 cars.

Nadeesha Senaratne, Country Head of Wealth & Personal Banking, HSBC Sri Lanka said, “Climate change is real and is gaining momentum across the world. As the leading international bank in Sri Lanka, we are proud to take the lead in driving change by becoming the first in the local banking industry to issue recycled plastic payment cards. This move underpins our global ambition to become a net zero business. By evolving our payment cards to eliminate single-use plastic cards and transforming banking for our customers, we are actively taking responsibility together, to tackle climate change. We want our customers to feel that they are truly making a positive impact on the environment.”



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Rupee devaluation, high shipping rates hurt tea prices at Colombo auctions

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by Steve A. Morrell

The Sri Lankan rupee weakening against the US dollar coupled with surging shipping rates reflected adversely on tea prices at the Colombo auctions.

This contributed to regressive price trends in Colombo, Forbes & Walker (F&W) said in its weekly Tea Market report.

The average for April 2021 was Rs. 627. 41 in comparison to Rs. 689.18 the corresponding month in 2020, indicating a minus variant Rs. 61. 77.

Brokering sources collectively said such price trends could result in negative market conditions seriously affecting profits at producer levels.

The depreciation of currencies in importer countries also contributed to depleting prices in Colombo apart from other allied trading disruptions, they said.

Commenting on the National auction average for April 2021, JKH Tea Brokers warned that the declining trend caused by the fall of the rupee against the dollar would trigger further minuses that could be foreseen at future auctions as well.

They said all elevations showed minus variances with low growns recording a higher minus variance of Rs. 93.43 per kilo.

Nevertheless, commenting on positive results for flowery grades at last week’s auctions, they said these grades fetched prices ranging from Rs. 2,300 to Rs. 3,000. per kilo. Quantities, although relatively small, impacted on the overall prices for the week.

The better known garden marks in the Uva High catalogue showed quality trends setting in with prices of Rs. 800 or more. Some Nuwara Eliya garden marks as well were in the Rs. 950 range of the price table.

Comparing production in most tea producing countries, China, India and Kenya were among the first three in production position in the world. Sri Lanka, producing 278.7 million kilos, was fourth in line.

Tip world producers include Indonesia, Bangladesh, Vietnam, Malawi, Uganda, and Tanzania, apart from Argentina supplying Tea to the US market.

Sri Lanka also exports to the US market but in irregular quantities.

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Mobiglotech Blockchain Corp seeks investment for EXIP Project

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To become a billion dollar company by 2025

The EXIP project, Mobiglotech Blockchain Corp’s flagship initiative in partnership with Dev Ceylon Holdings and Niftron, is looking for a US$ one million investment to become a billion dollar company by 2025.

The EXIP project, themed as ‘By Community for Community’, is expected to create independence on the internet and ensure it remains neutral of any political affiliations.

‘’EXIP ecosystem is custom built to the needs of any individual, private or government institution where they can have the ownership of their domain or TLD other than rent it from present service providers. In future, depending on the way the world is moving with blockchains and decentralizations, all aspects of the project will be decentralized and the community will control it without any monopoly”, says Shashi Meghawarna, the founder and CEO of Mobiglotech, the world’s first decentralized domain and TLD name service.

“We will build this project in such a way that all users have equal rights to access and anyone will be able to create domains and top-level domains whose ownership will be identified through Non fungible tokens’’, he added.

The internet transformed the way we carry out transactions, communicate, share information, promote business, entertain, study and so forth. Nevertheless, the internet was never properly designed for such a global role, he noted.

On the other hand, some organizations have the power to seize, revoke, dismiss, and permanently erase any domain from existence. Once the EXIP project is completed, the community would be able to decide all the major actions in the system based on their voting such as removing or banning a domain or a user, he further said.

EXIP is specially designed to decentralize the internet and overcome the monopolistic control over domains and TLDs. While providing the connectivity of an internet, it assures full security similar to an intranet.

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Contactless payments from Sri Lanka Insurance

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Sri Lanka Insurance the national insurer has facilitated an array of payment channels at this hour of need honouring customer needs while ensuring their safety and wellbeing.

Sri Lanka Insurance customers can enjoy uninterrupted service through an array of online service platforms without having physical contact during the current pandemic situation

SLIC policy holders can renew their insurance policies and make premium payments via Sri Lanka Insurance Customer Portal www.srilankainsurance.net and SLIC mobile App is available to download on Apple App Store and Google Playstore to fulfill various insurance needs.

Keeping in line mobile payment facilities including Genie, FriMi, mCash and eZ cash are available and further direct bank payments facilities are also available through Sampath Bank (Life – 092960000104 / General – 002960001543 ) , Commercial Bank (Life – 1484444444/ General- 1480020022), People’s Bank ( Life -014100120112337/General – 014100160112335), Bank of Ceylon ( Life -0000164657/General-0000000464), Hatton National Bank (Life -003010313831/General 003010011166 ),National Savings Bank (Life -100011141139) Nations Trust Bank ( Life -011106000275 ), Seylan Bank ( General -086433464695001) for the premium payments.

Established in 1962, Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation is the largest government-owned insurance company in Sri Lanka, with a managed asset base of over Rs.212 billion and a Life fund of Rs. 117 billion, the largest in the local insurance industry. The company is also the first and only local insurer to secure Fitch Ratings AA (lka) rating for its long-term financial stability and sustainability and also Sri Lanka Insurance ranked as the ‘Most Valuable General Insurance Brand’, and ‘Most Loved Insurance Brand’ and the 3rd Most Loved Consumer Brand in the country by Brand Finance. The national insurer is on a mission of being a customer focused company which constantly innovates in providing insurance services to customers and is now serves customers through an extensive network of 158 branches.

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