Sampath Bank PLC partnered with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) to promote ‘LANKAQR,’ a common Quick Response (QR) code standard for the country, at the “Rata Puraama LANKAQR” (Taking LANKAQR to the entire nation) event that was held at the CBSL premises recently.
The event was held under the auspices of Hon. Bandula Gunawardane, Minister of Trade together with Hon. Ajith Nivard Cabraal, State Minister of Money & Capital Market and State Enterprise Reforms; Hon. Lasantha Alagiyawanna, State Minister of Co-operative Services, Marketing Development and Consumer Protection; and Hon. Shehan Semasinghe, State Minister of Samurdhi, Household Economy, Micro Finance, Self-Employment, Business Development and Underutilized State Resources Development. The Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, Deshamanya Prof. W. D. Lakshman; members of the Monetary Board including S. R. Attygalle, Secretary to the Treasury, Ministry of Finance; Nanda Fernando, Managing Director, Sampath Bank PLC and representatives of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, other government institutions, licensed commercial banks, licensed specialized banks, licensed finance companies, telecom operators and fintechs were also present at this event.
Several QR payment accepting institutions including licensed commercial banks, licensed specialized banks, licensed finance companies, telecom operators and fintechs as well as representatives from the Central Bank, heads of several government departments, leaders of the retail, health and media industries and representatives from Chambers of Commerce were also present. At the event, Minister Gunawardane carried out the first transaction of the day, making a symbolic donation to the ‘Itukama’ COVID-19 Healthcare and Social Security Fund.
“Today, technology has completely revolutionised the way we transact with each other and even in Sri Lanka the number of digital payments conducted is steadily on the rise year by year. People are increasingly realising the convenience of making transactions online as opposed to carrying cash and with safety concerns on the rise we foresee an even greater increase in digital payments. In this context, this is a timely move by the Central Bank to showcase the benefits and ease of making payments online,” said Mr. Nanda Fernando, Managing Director, Sampath Bank PLC.
Going forward, Sampath Bank will continue to actively engage with its partner merchants through its island wide branch network to encourage them to trial and adopt LANKAQR and thereby join the fast-growing cashless payments ecosystem.
LANKAQR is expected to facilitate speedy, safe, low-cost digital payments to any merchant, especially Small and Medium Enterprises. It enables customers to pay merchants directly from their bank accounts using a LANKAQR compliant mobile payment app with the payment being credited to the merchant’s bank account on the following working day. To pay using LANKAQR, a customer simply has to scan the LANKAQR sticker that will be on display at the merchant outlet, using a mobile payment app, and the merchant will receive an instant SMS and email notification, confirming that the transaction is complete.
Sampath Bank is a 100% local bank that has deeply rooted itself in the lives of the people of Sri Lanka. Established in 1987, the bank has become a state-of-the-art financial institution that continues to be a market leader today thanks to its constant innovation and customer focused approach to business. It has introduced many firsts to the Sri Lankan banking sector including introducing ATMs to Sri Lanka, extended banking hours and slip-less banking to name a few. As part of its visionary 2020 approach, the bank is steadily transforming itself into a ‘tech company engaged in banking,’ from the traditional approach of a bank engaged in technology.