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ICTA to launch national payment platform


9 September 2015 02:48 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}


The state-owned Information Communication Technology Agency is currently spearheading an initiative for a national payment platform which works across all banks which is expected to be rolled out within a month. “We’ve brought in a national payment platform. We’ve got expressions of interest from 12 companies,” ICTA CEO Muhunthan Canagey said at the National IT Conference 2015.

He noted that 3 local companies have been shortlisted by ICTA to develop the app.

“This is because we want the citizens to have the right and choice to decide from one of the 3 service providers,” he said.

Replying to an audience question on whether Paypal would be available in Sri Lanka soon—which the government recently confirmed—Canagey said that the app would be similar to both Paypal and Google Wallet and will be available on mobile devices and computers.

“It will be released within a month. This won’t cost the government anything because we have asked the companies to be entrepreneurs and develop it for us. It won’t cost them that much because they already have developed similar apps in the past,” he said.

Citizens would be able to add all their bank accounts into the platform and transfer money to other accounts or do e-commerce easily in real time, which, coupled with the increased internet penetration—rising 24 percent in the first quarter of 2015—could possibly leading to the dying out of cheques still widely used in Sri Lanka.

“The customer instructions go to Lanka Clear—50 percent of which is owned by the banks and 50 percent by Central Bank—so there is a record of the transaction, and it sends instructions back,” Canagey added.(CW) 

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