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Sampath Bank introduces Sri Lanka’s first Touchless Cash Withdrawals across its ATM network

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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.



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‘Dollar reserves in SL plummet drastically, putting the economy in jeopardy‘

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Key personnel at CNCI forum

By Steve A. Morrell

Sri Lanka’s dollar reserves have declined from $ 7.15 billion in 2019 to $ 2.8 billion currently. The President conceded economic failures although reasons for such failure were not explained, chairman, National Chamber of Industries (CNCI) Canisius Fernando said.

Fernando added recently at a forum: “Forex reserves are insufficient to expedite payment of import bills. More so that cost incurred on container traffic for imports and or exports was on a rising spiral. In comparison to cost of container shipping recorded at $ 2,800 earlier, it is now $ 12,000, indicating a rise in multiples of 250.

“Additionally, the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP +) affecting our trade with EU countries, placed Sri Lanka’s reputation at a risk, meaning that countries could veer away from Sri Lanka prompted by a possible inability to honor our trade commitments. The clear example being trade with the US. Rather than await goods and services transactions with Sri Lanka, that could invariably take three months, US economists and their trade sector opted to transact trade with countries in close proximity to US shores.

“Dearth of container traffic and rising cost for on- loading and off- loading of cargo seriously affect trade imbalances. Consequently, the credit worthiness of the Sri Lankan economy is affected, which in turn seriously affects the GDP.

“Worker wages which were static because of trade shut- downs caused demands for increased wages. Wage demands of Rs 1,500 from employees became a major phenomenon in most sectors. The question at issue was the hypothetical position of business establishments of about 4000 employees demanding increased wages. This would cause closure of those companies resulting in unemployment.

“The proverbial domino effect of such repercussions would cause further chaos in the economy.

“There was no proper policy in most sectors. Suspension of the import of fertilizer and consequent confusion would, in the short run, result in famine and food shortages. Already this was evident in the public panic caused by having to stand in line to purchase essentials. That the crisis is upon us and the question of a quick solution is not feasible in the current context of the economy.

“Foreign investors are lured by the possibility of cheap labour in Sri Lanka to establish their businesses here, but in this instance too, this is only a hypothetical situation but not the reality.”

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Supuni Products gives back by way of welfare initiative, helps to uplift the needy patients with chronic illnesses

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Supuni Products first started in 2016 when the business proprietor, Supuni Lakmalie along with her husband only had Rs. 150 as investment. With that small amount, they purchased kollu (lentils) and kurakkan and ground them using a grindstone. This was the beginning for them and today, Supuni Products is a booming enterprise that specializes in ground spices and cereal, operating from the town of Nildandahinna, Walapane. Their products are of very high quality and 100% natural and consists of 15 different spice and cereal products including chilli, coriander, turmeric, pepper, curry powder, kurakkan, lentil (kollu) etc.

In 2018, Supuni Products received the opportunity to supply kurakkan flour and cereal to be included into the Poshana Malla, which is a nutrition package prepared for pregnant women, instigated by the government. The success of their business was such that they were able to gain an equity of over Rs. Four million during the past three years.

As part of a welfare initiative, they have also pledged to allocate one rupee for every kilogram of product sold, towards supporting patients with financial difficulties and require emergency surgery and for those with chronic diseases. While having had to run a business in the confines of their own home, the grant offering they received from the enterprise project allowed them to complete construction work of their new factory. She now hopes to expand the business, improve their supply chain, and create new employment opportunities.

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Dialog Enterprise offers Dell Technologies Cloud IaaS in Sri Lanka

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Dialog Enterprise, the corporate solutions arm of Dialog Axiata PLC, is working with Dell Technologies Cloud Solution Provider (CSP) in Sri Lanka to offer Dell Technologies Cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) solutions to customers to innovate and scale rapidly, reduce costs and increase performance of business-critical infrastructure.

“Together, with our combined forces, we bring the only hybrid multi-cloud partnership in the country, giving access to private clouds as well as to our existing public cloud, and for on-premises infrastructure, robustly powered by Dell Technologies and VMWare. Envisioning a one-stop multiservice solution for all enterprise requirements, we strive continuously to keep to the changing landscape strengthening the cloud play in the arena,” said Navin Pieris, the Vice President – Enterprise Business and Large Enterprise Sales, Dialog Axiata PLC.

Rather than making capital investments in hardware, storage and servers to maintain them, enterprises can harness and scale IaaS resources when needed, paying only for infrastructure services they consume. Mitigating and allowing for any threat of data loss, the cloud partnership also offers cyber recovery as a service with a guaranteed uptime of 99.95%, end-to-end management of data centers and 24×7 support with zero operational burden on the customer. Ensuring the same standardization, self-service, automation and analytics capabilities that exist in the public cloud, the partnership facilitates secure private clouds for customers along with servers, storage and customized enterprise, private and/or public cloud solutions as required by enterprises.

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