By Thushantha Jayatilaka
Lanka Clear (Private) Limited (LCPL) the cheque clearing arm of the Central Bank of Sri plans to implement a Common Payment System for all Automated Teller Machines (ATM) that will process transactions locally and Expressions of Interests (EoIs) have been called from vendors to supply Common ATM & Payment Card Switch.
Through this system Central Bank hopes to bring all ATM's in leading banks under one platform to increase efficiency and reduce clearing and settlement time. This system will provide customers a hassle free banking experience.
Sunimal Weerasooriya General Manager/CEO of Lanka Clear told DM Business" We have already implemented the one day clearing of cheque payments. This is the next phase where we bring all ATM's under one platform where it will bring ease and convenience to customers and banks."
Once this system is implemented any customer will be able to use any ATM of any bank for their banking needs. Currently all transactions are processed by overseas payment gateways costing money and time.
Speaking to DM Business Upali Silva President Sri Lanka Bank's Association said "When this is implemented a customer can go to any ATM of any bank, anywhere to do their banking needs".
The Common payment system will be in operation 24 hours supporting on-line real time fund transfers/payments between banks and to enable banking customers to initiate transactions at any time of the day.
Customers can make payments through ATMs, Mobile and Internet 24 hours of any day. Payment instructions would be transmitted through the CPS immediately if sufficient funds are available in the sender's account.
The Common Payment System is the first step to make all payments paper free. Currently the U.K plans to withdraw all cheques and paper based payment slips by 2018.
Phase 1 of the project will include Third Party Bank Transfers, Bill Payments, Inward Remittances, Direct Debit Transactions, Local Credit Card Payments and Statutory Payments.
Banks and Financial Institutions who do not have an ATM network or a limited one can now make use of the other banks infrastructure. Once the Common Payment System is implemented, all banks will charge a nominal flat rate in terms of local transaction charges across the ATM network.