People’s Bank, the first to issue and acquire LankaPay debit card | Page 2 | Sunday Observer

People’s Bank, the first to issue and acquire LankaPay debit card

26 March, 2023
Chairman of People’s Bank, Sujeewa Rajapakse presents the first People’s LankaPay debit card to the Chairman of the University Grants Commission Senior Prof. Sampath Amaratunge at the People’s Bank Head office in Colombo. Looking on are Chairman, LankaClear,  Dr. Kenneth De Zilwa,  Acting CEO, People’s Bank, Clive Fonseka, Director, Payments and Settlements Department, Central Bank, Vasantha Alwis, CEO, LankaClear, Channa De Silva, Consultant to JCB International (for Sri Lanka) Lakshman Liyanage, DGM, Payment, Process Management and Quality Assurance, People’s Bank Nilmini Premalal, Chief Information Officer Dhammika Dasa, Head of Marketing Nalaka Wijayawardana, Head of Cards Jayanath Dias, Chief Manager, Cards, Prasad Marasinghe and Manager Cards Business Chalani Senanayake.

People’s Bank has entered into a partnership with LankaPay to issue debit cards under the National Card Scheme (NCS). With this initiative, People’s Bank became the first bank in the country to simultaneously fulfill issuer and acquirer functionalities of LankaPay Debit cards.

People’s LankaPay debit card provides customers with a range of benefits including the lowest ATM withdrawal fees of Rs. 15 per transaction via other bank ATMs. Customers can also use this debit card for Point of Sales (POS) transactions at over 42,000 terminals islandwide.

Increased use of these cards would result in bringing down the current merchant commission (MDR) of around 3-3.5% to a much lower 1%, which will make card transactions more affordable, especially to SME merchants. This benefit is expected to be passed down to the customers as the smallest merchants currently add the MDR to the value of the goods/services, which has been a primary reason for the slower penetration of card payments in the country.

Another feature of the People’s LankaPay Debit cards issued this time is the dual functionality it holds where there is a stored value element in addition to the debit card feature within the same card. Partnering with the Central Bank, the Ministry of Transport, the National Transport Commission (NTC), Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) and LankaPay, People’s Bank has already started a pilot project on the Southern expressway to issue transit cards. Using this ability, commuters will be able to pay their transport fare by simply tapping their cards on the ticket machine available with the bus conductor. After the successful pilot run, People’s Bank will expand this Transit Card national initiative to other routes as well.

People’s Bank Chairman Sujeewa Rajapakse said, “As a nation-minded entity, we are delighted to be a part of this national initiative, which saves valuable foreign exchange for the country in this hour of need. As the leader in introducing cutting-edge technology to the nation, we are confident that this solution will pave the way for many more futuristic value additions in the near future”.

People’s Bank’s Acting CEO/GM Clive Fonseka said, “This is another perfect example of how modern technology can be used to offer viable and practical solutions that provide true value to the general public.

Such achievements further re-affirms People’s Bank’s objective of becoming the country’s leader in the use of technology for the benefit of everyone.”

Under the guidance of the Central Bank, LankaPay launched the National Card Scheme in partnership with JCB International - an International Card Scheme headquartered in Japan, which is present in many territories including China, India, Indonesia and Thailand with over 150 million cardholders and over 41 million merchant points worldwide. LankaPay Debit cards will be accepted overseas through the JCB network thanks to this partnership. JCB is one of the six members of the EMVCo alliance. EMV is a registered trademark in the USA and other countries and an unregistered trademark elsewhere.

LankaPay’s quest as the country’s national payment network has been to minimise the cost structure within the financial sector through a common infrastructure thereby reducing the cost to the banks, customers, and the country as a whole.

LankaPay cards will route all domestic transactions locally and only overseas transactions will be routed via the JCB International network. This initiative will ensure that no foreign exchange outflow takes place for any local transaction unlike in the case of using other international card schemes.

This could potentially save the country a large amount of foreign exchange for domestic/local transactions from the use of debit/credit cards issued under other international card schemes.