Sampath Bank PLC announced the introduction of Touchless Cash Withdrawals at Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) for the first time in Sri Lanka, and possibly the first time in the region.
State Minister of Money & Capital Markets and State Enterprise Reforms, Ajith Nivard Cabraal, M.P., was the Chief Guest at the commissioning of this service at the Sampath Bank Head Office premises. He performed the first Touchless Cash Withdrawal transaction in the presence of Harsha Amarasekera, Chairman, Sampath Bank PLC; Nanda Fernando, Managing Director, Sampath Bank PLC; Ajith Salgado, Group Chief Information Officer, Sampath Bank PLC; and Ayodhya Iddawela Perera, Senior DGM – International Trade and Credit Control, Sampath Bank PLC.
Sampath Bank customers and customers of all other banks in the country will now be able to withdraw the funds in their accounts and cards at any Sampath Bank ATM around the island by simply scanning the QR code displayed on the ATM screen using the Sampath WePay app.
Doing away with the need to physically touch the surface of the ATM, this is set to minimize risk and enhance customer safety, thereby serving as an ideal means of withdrawing cash from ATMs during the current global COVID-19 pandemic.
This is yet another trailblazing digital solution brought to the Sri Lankan market by Sampath Bank. Right from its inception, the Bank has continued to deliver several innovations to the market including the introduction of the country’s first multi-point network of ATMs back in 1988.
Commenting on the occasion, State Minister of Money & Capital Markets and State Enterprise Reforms, Ajith Nivard Cabraal, M.P., said, “As the government continues to strive to offer all possible assistance to our citizens during this pandemic, I would like to commend Sampath Bank on the launch of Touchless Cash Withdrawals – a timely innovation that offers a safer means of withdrawing cash to customers of all banks in the country. I am informed that this could be the first solution of its kind in the region – a fact that we can all take great pride in. Let’s continue to work together as a nation to develop more such innovative solutions that will help us overcome the challenges brought about by this global health and financial crisis.”
“While we work on developing and rolling out more innovative digital banking solutions, we are aware of the fact that the need to withdraw cash for certain transactions will always be present. Taking this into account, it is our privilege to introduce a safer, touchless means of withdrawing money through any of our ATMs with the launch of Touchless Cash Withdrawals. This is the first solution of its kind to be introduced in Sri Lanka,” said Nanda Fernando, Managing Director, Sampath Bank PLC.
SLTMobitel-PEOTV and DP Education launch ‘Videsa DP Education’
SLT-MOBITEL, the National ICT, Telecommunications and Mobile Services Provider has teamed up with DP Education, to launch ‘Videsa DP Education’, a dedicated educational channel on CH.215 of SLTMobitel–PEOTV, ensuring school children from Grade Five to Advanced Level have access to a high-quality learning experience with Rewind TV.
The revolutionary services of SLTMobitel-PEOTV includes ‘Videsa’ a series of educational channels hosted on the platform, that comprise of 06 TV channels dedicated to individual grades covering grades 06 to 11, that enhance the knowledge sharing with curriculum-centered lessons from a panel of reputed teachers. DP Education, a unique online learning platform, leverages digital solutions to deliver quality education to empower students. Together, Videsa and DP Education, enrich the educational arena further with the ‘Videsa DP Education’ channel, a dedicated television space for the students at home.
This path-breaking partnership is a commitment by SLTMobitel–PEOTV to support the education of children, whose options are limited due to the challenges convergence posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative will use the home TV screen and mobile devices as a ubiquitous medium to impart knowledge providing access to quality education for students across the country.
Commenting on the initiative, Rohan Fernando, Group Chairman, SLT said, “We understand that parents are now faced with the challenge of keeping their children safe during the pandemic as well as having to deal with the ongoing disturbances to their children’s education. As a solution to ensure that their learning remains uninterrupted, we have already introduced six different channels for Grade 6 to Grade 11 students through our Videsa digital platform. Our latest initiative and partnership with DP Education has now enabled us to launch a dedicated channel with unique learning experiences in key subjects such as Mathematics, Science and English for students from Grade 5 to Advanced Level with the Rewind TV facility. We are appreciative of the exceptional efforts extended by Mr. Dammika Perera and his team at DP Education and are grateful for the opportunity to connect the two learning platforms together in unison to create a revolutionary learning experience for our children”.
Thornton and Dane’s combined projects portfolio tops Rs 5.9 billion
Thornton Engineering, the Nextventures owned civil engineering company, has announced the acquisition of a 100% stake in Dane Engineering (Pvt) Ltd. for Rs 350 million, creating a construction business with a combined portfolio of Rs 5.9 billion.
The new entity, Thornton and Dane Engineering, expects to add new construction projects with a cumulative value of Rs 5 billion within the current financial year, nearly doubling its projects portfolio, the Company said in its announcement.
“We are excited at the post-acquisition prospects for the new company, because we strongly believe that it is a good example for the concept of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts,” said Thornton and Dane Director Dinesh Schaffter. “The combined strengths of Thornton and Dane create a formidable as well as extremely flexible engineering company that is capable of executing projects of varying scope and scale.”
Capacity-building programs for SMEs
Sri Lanka Chamber of Small and Medium Industries (SLCSMI), the apex body for SMEs in Sri Lanka has been at the forefront in supporting the SMEs during the pandemic. The chamber took several measures since the pandemic first hit the country in the first quarter of 2020. The Webinar series “Way Forward for SMEs” was a grand success among other initiatives, which was conducted with the participation of prominent scholars, leading business personalities as well as top rankers of state and private sector organizations.
The president of SLCSMI, Prof. Rohan De Silva said: “We are always there to represent and support the SMEs in the country and that’s our prime duty. During the first wave, we understood the need to share the knowledge and provide psychological support for the business owners to withstand the difficult times and that’s how the webinar series was born. Our initiative was well received by the businesses and our audience was not limited to Sri Lanka alone, as we witnessed participants from around 12 countries.”
Prof. Rohan further said that the chamber has looked at the possibilities of providing sustainable solutions to the SMEs beyond merely conducting knowledge sharing sessions and the Executive Committee has decided to introduce a range of Capacity Building programs to develop the SMEs. These programs include different solutions to address various gaps among the SMEs and the chamber intends to issue a valuable certificate for the participants of these programs.
The chamber has partnered with the Asia Pacific Institute of Money and Entrepreneurship Development (iMED) to design and deliver the programs and the details of the Programs will be unveiled at the launching event scheduled to be held on the 25th of September.
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