Sri Lanka’s national payment network – LankaPayis celebrating yet another milestone in its operations by completing one year of successful operations of their innovative ‘USD Online’service.
Striving to further extend the convenience factor to the country’s banking population, LankaPay launched USD Electronic Fund Transfers (EFT) in July 2015, enabling all member banks to offer same day US dollar transfers within the country.
In its debut year the service saw the channelling of approximately Rs. 1.8 billion worth of transactions. The USD Online, the first of its kind to be launched in Sri Lanka, was a breakthrough in the banking and financial industry with the service having driven speed and efficiency on all interbank US Dollar transfers, along with facilitating the flow of foreign exchange savings into the economy.USD Online essentially allows the movement of funds between banks the same day without having to go through NOSTRO accounts maintained with correspondent banks in the US.
The system that kicked off with six banks now has a pool of 10 financial entities. On-board is Sampath Bank PLC, Seylan Bank PLC, ICICI Bank Ltd, Habib Bank Ltd, Cargills Bank Ltd, Amana Bank PLC, Hatton Nation Bank PLC, Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC, Bank of Ceylon and Public Bank Berhad.With the launch of USD Online, customers of these banks were able to transact via other member bank branches island wide and affect same day fund transfer to any personal or corporate foreign currency account at a nominal fee.
Commenting on the progress of the service, LankaClear Chairman Anil Amarasuriya said USD Online has exceeded expectations. “USD Online performed exceptionally well in its first year, which was beyond our projections for this period. The success of the service can be attributed to its innovative features that allowed it to be well received by the financial industry. We are confident that volumes and value of transactions via this newchannel would continue to move along a positive growth trajectory in the coming years,” stated Amarasuriya.
The service allowed its users to reap a number of benefits including the reduction of the per transaction cost due to the elimination of costs incurred for NOSTRO and intermediary bank charges. In addition to paving the way to boost the Turn-Around-Time and prompting in-time zone settlement, USD Online further created greater efficiencies in small commercial settlements.
Sharing the way forward, LankaClear Chief Executive Officer and General Manager Channa de Silva elaborated on the efforts taken on expanding this core product offering.“With the first year being a tremendous success, we are keen to further expand the service to more members so that it can accommodate greater needs of our target audience. In addition to our primary objective of driving greater financial inclusivity, we are striving to help the country save much needed foreign exchange as well. Similar to our current portfolio of exciting and innovative services, we will continue to further improve the USD online offering to our members by bringing in innovative facets.