“Sri Lanka’s DQ improving” | Sunday Observer

“Sri Lanka’s DQ improving”

9 April, 2023
Sandeep Ghosh
Sandeep Ghosh

Sri Lanka’s Digital Quotient (DQ) is improving according to a McKinsey’s survey, said Group Country Manager, Visa, for India and South Asia, Sandeep Ghosh.

“During a survey with several Sri Lankan companies it was found that the country’s DQ score of 35 is slightly higher than the global median of 33.”

He said they were pleased to note that digital transactions picked up especially after the COVID pandemic as it was the only mode of payment that was available. “We are pleased to see that this trend is continuing.”

It was observed that over 320,000 merchants are registered for LankaQR and nearly 100,000 POS machines are in the market (Q2, 2022) as per CBSL’s Payment Bulletin.

He said that today tourism too is picking up in Sri Lanka and there is an emerging trend where tourists move out of the ‘sun and sea’ concept and are visiting rural areas.

“A survey by the Sustainable Travel Report 2022 showed that tourists want to have ‘authentic’ experiences that give insight into local culture and customs, away from exaggerated tourist attractions.

“Tourists don’t like to carry cash and hence they prefer to use plastic cards. We also see a healthy trend in rural areas where SME merchants are upgrading their systems to accept these cards,” Ghosh said.

Data shows tourists traveling to Sri Lanka has grown and is set to accelerate. “It received over 100,000 tourists in February 2023, up 11.5% from February last year.

Sri Lanka attracted 700,000 tourists last year and in the first three months this figure has already crossed 300,000 tourists in the first three months,” he said.

“With green shoots and an economic recovery, these numbers look very positive for tourism and to cater to this market we also see merchants moving towards accepting more digital payments physically and also online.

“Businesses should provide a variety of payment options wherever travellers are, and are accustomed to in their home countries – be it cards, contactless payments, QR code payments, online/ecommerce payments,” Ghosh said.

He said that smooth, secure payments win consumer trust, especially for new tourists. “Acceptance of digital payments, especially cards since tourists are familiar with them, must be widespread and simple.”

“Even when consumers travel off the beaten path too, they should be able to make payments safely and conveniently and we Sri Lanka rural businesses especially in tourism areas are moving to meet this demand. We at Visa will make consumers confident about in-store purchase experiences and aid positive sentiment towards the country as a whole,” said Ghosh.