Sri Lanka will be moving towards a cashless transaction era enabling it to become a digital economy with Visa, the global leader in digital payments technology supporting this endeavour to boost the country’s e-commerce platform.

Visa celebrated 30 years in Sri Lanka and reiterates commitment to building awareness of digital payments across Sri Lanka.

“Over the past 30 years, we have been able to forge strong partnerships with Sri Lanka’s financial institutions, partners and merchants in empowering and facilitating digital payment solutions,” Visa Asia Pacific Regional President Chris Clark said.

“It gives us immense pride to

see Visa now firmly established as the leading digital solution for commerce in the country. Through the future initiatives, we reinforce our commitment to further build awareness and acceptance for digital payments across Sri Lanka,” he said.

Visa commenced operations in Sri Lanka in1988. Continuing its pioneering efforts to build awareness for digital payments in Sri Lanka, Visa celebrated its 30 year milestone by announcing initiatives to promote digital access, and digital and financial literacy across rural communities through its collaboration with Sarvodaya Fusion.

Visa will also be sending 30 three-wheelers across the country to promote the simplicity and the value digital payments bring to everyday lives, helping Sri Lankans realize the true potential of going digital.

Visa will be partnering with Sarvodaya Fusion, the community based development organisation network, in a three-phased program to inform, engage and educate consumers and businesses across Sri Lanka of the benefits of transitioning to a digital platform. Meanwhile, the three wheeler initiative on digital payments will witness Visa’s clients including banks, merchants and technology partners joining hands in a coordinated effort to inform and influence audiences across 30 towns and cities across the country.

“From EMV pin-based cards to state-of-the-art contactless technology-based cards, Visa has continued to be at the forefront of driving innovation in the market. With the rapid evolution of digital payments in Sri Lanka, we are excited about the potential for digital payments in the country for years to come,” Visa Group Country Manager, India & South Asia, T.R. Ramachandran, said.

As a large cash based economy, Sri Lanka has been making rapid strides in transitioning towards a digital economy. As a recent study estimated, Colombo, with a population of 694,000 and GDP of US$6.5B, could alone gain US$200M annual net benefits by transitioning into a digital economy. Estimated catalytic impacts for the city over the next 15 years include 20.4 basis point increase in GDP growth and 2.1% increase in employment.

Recognizing the huge potential for digital payments in the country, in 2016 Visa opened its first office in the country and has since continued to expand its footprint along with its clients and merchant partners. Visa is currently associated with 29 banks and nine finance companies helping them offer debit, credit, commercial and prepaid services to Sri Lankans across the country.

“In under two years, we have been able to further reinforce our leadership in the market. Continued support from our clients and consumers as well as the progressive approach to the payments industry adopted by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka has been critical on this journey. We look forward to introducing many more innovative solutions that we hope will help support Sri Lanka’s transition towards a digital economy.” Visa’s first Country Manager for Sri Lanka & Maldives, Anthony Watson said.

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