LNP – ComBank partners LankaClear to become first Bank to accept digital signatures in Sri Lanka

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has announced it is now accepting digitally signed documents from business customers using LankaSign operated by LankaClear, the only commercially operating Certification Authority in the country which complies with the Electronic Transactions Act.

The Bank recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with LankaClear as the first step towards embracing digital signatures. Commercial Bank is the first entity in Sri Lanka’s financial sector to adopt LankaSign digital signatures for document signing.

In the first phase of this development, the Bank will encourage its corporate customers to submit their online banking applications signed digitally. Acceptance of digital signatures will be extended to other banking related documents shortly, the Bank said.

Commenting on the roll out of digital signature acceptance for the Bank’s customers, Commercial Bank Managing Director Mr S. Renganathan said: “While technology offers unparalleled convenience and advantages to financial institutions and their customers, there are security and fraud related risks. With the exponential increase in the use of electronic transactions, the need for advanced IT security infrastructure becomes critical in order to eliminate these risks. The introduction of the digital signature feature powered by LankaSign is therefore another important step in this direction.”

“Additionally, the adoption of digital signatures is an advance in convenience for our corporate customers, especially during the pandemic,” Mr Renganathan said.

Digital signatures help businesses save on cost and time with documents and contracts signed off with a click of a button, eliminate the need for indirect costs and costs related to wet signatures, enhance workflow efficiency and provide a better customer experience. They are highly secure and reduce the risk of duplication or alteration of the document or the signature itself, are legally valid, and are environment-friendly because they contribute towards reducing waste.

LankaClear launched Sri Lanka’s first Digital Certification Authority under the brand name LankaSign in accordance with the Electronic Transaction Act, No.19 of 2006 in May 2009. In its first phase LankaSign provided digital certificates to Banks to be used in financial transaction clearing systems, such as SLIPS and CITS. In 2011 LankaSign launched its second phase by providing digital certificates for all financial sector enterprise applications, SSL Certificates and End Users (E-mail/Document signing) Certificates on both private and public networks. Offering an affordable option to the country’s financial sector, LankaSign has helped in automating documentation work which was previously done manually. It also introduced the facility of issuing digital certificates in real-time for digitally signed and authenticated electronic documents for mobile-based payment applications.

Speaking of this partnership with ComBank, Mr Channa de Silva, General Manager/CEO of LankaClear said: “We applaud Commercial Bank on their progressive move towards introducing LankaSign Digital Signatures for document signing to customers. At a time when travel restrictions are in place and banks themselves operate with limited staff, we believe this initiative is timely and customer friendly. Furthermore, it will also provide much needed assurance of integrity, non repudiation and authentication for all digitally-signed documents, which is essential in safeguarding the interest of the Bank and its customers in the face of rising risk of cyber security threats.”

Sri Lanka’s first fully carbon neutral bank, the first Sri Lankan bank to be listed among the Top 1000 Banks of the World and the only Sri Lankan bank to be so listed for 11 years consecutively, Commercial Bank operates a network of 268 branches and 931 automated machines in Sri Lanka. The Bank’s overseas operations encompass Bangladesh, where the Bank operates 19 outlets; Myanmar, where it has a Microfinance company in Nay Pyi Taw; and the Maldives, where the Bank has a fully-fledged Tier I Bank with a majority stake.

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