Jude Fernando, Deputy General Manager - SME exchanging the MOU with Omar Sahib- Co- Founder and CEO Web-X-pay. From left: Niluka Amarasinghe Senior Manager SME Business development of HNB, Roshantha Jayatunge, Head of Cards of HNB and Nauchelli Fernando, Business Development Manager Webxpay
Sri Lanka’s most digitally innovative bank, HNB PLC announced a breakthrough partnership with e-commerce Software as a Service (SaaS) provider, Webxpay, to launch an integrated e-commerce platform aimed at empowering Micro, Small and Medium businesses in Sri Lanka to adapt to e-commerce.
With technology driven paradigms engulfing all walks of life in Sri Lanka, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) too are seeking cost effective solutions capable of serving as a gateway into the island’s rapidly expanding e-commerce market.
Having consistently served as a ‘partner in progress’ to SMEs across the country for decades, HNB announced that it would be launching a island-wide programme across all of its 252 customer centres, the bank is ideally positioned to enable a cashless payments revolution in Sri Lanka.
Webxpay, a startup who has been in business for about 10 months and who profess to be the ‘face of change in Sri Lanka’ have already on-boarded over 450 merchants into their platform, and these merchants are transacting and reaching out to not only a larger share of the Sri Lankan market, but also generating sales out of far out markets like the USA.
Commenting on the groundbreaking partnership with Webxpay, HNB Managing Director/CEO, Jonathan Alles said: “MSMEs are the backbone of the Sri Lankan economy, contributing a significant proportion of for a large slice of the Country’s GDP, despite lagging behind the larger businesses due to limited access to financial services and technology based on cost factors and complexity. This program will provide MSMEs in Sri Lanka a cost effective and easy to use all-in-one solution to compete with their larger counterparts on equal footing”.
“Apart from the economic benefit to these MSMEs, the socio-economic developmental impact of this programme will be massive, as this programme will sustainably contribute to financial inclusion, inclusive growth, job creation, women empowerment, skill development, access to finance, access to markets, opportunity to compete and poverty alleviation,” he added.
Placing particular emphasis on the island’s booming tourism sector, Alles pointed out that while Sri Lanka had over 7,700 properties listed, in excess of 90 percent of these properties lacked an efficient platform to transact online; another area which he believes HNB’s partnership with Webxpay will yield valuable benefits from SMEs.
Nazeem Mohamed, the Founder/Director of Webxpay said; “After being in the payments industry for over 2 decades, together with my co-founders Omar Sahib and Sajith Chanuka, we identified a big void in the marketplace where MSMEs lacked access to a cost-effective solution to compete globally on an equal footing. To fill this void, we developed our suite of cost effective products, and our current portfolio of 450 merchants in a period of ten months (compared to 1,000 businesses transacting through e-commerce over a 13-year period) is testament to our thesis. Our mission is to be the ‘face of change in Sri Lanka”, and with support from our ‘partner in progress’, HNB we are targeting to increase our merchant portfolio to 20,000 in 5 years. We are privileged to be partnering with HNB in their mission to empower and enable MSMEs in Sri Lanka through e-commerce.”