Launches Payment Exchange Name and Direct Debit Authorization
LankaClear – the operator of LankaPay- Sri Lanka’s National Payment Network unveiled two new ground breaking initiatives towards making payments easier, faster and convenient. Payment Exchange Name (PEN) and Direct Debit Authorization (DDA) were launched at a press conference held at the Kingsbury Hotel Colombo, recently. Director Payments and Settlements of the Central Bank, Mr. D Kumaratunge and GM/CEO LankaClear Mr. Channa de Silva addressed the press conference. Mr. Ravi De Silva, Director General of SLBA and Mr. Dinuka Perera, DGM IT and Operations of LankaClear and CEOs of member banks were also present at this occasion.
Payment Exchange Name (PEN) is a nickname based real-time person-to-person or peer-to-peer (P2P) payment system facilitated via LankaPay Common Electronic Fund Transfer Switch (CEFTS). PEN enables customers to make P2P payments amongst PEN member banks conveniently, securely and error free. With PEN, Customers no longer have to provide their bank name, branch, account number and other details when requesting for a fund transfer. This would minimize the mistakes made by customers in making an electronic fund transfer. Due to the ease of making fund transfers, PEN is expected to attract less tech-savvy customers also to adopt electronic payment modes in making fund transfers, which is key to making financial inclusivity a reality. Upon joining the PEN network, PEN member banks would assign a nickname for each account held by the customer. These nicknames would be associated with the mobile phone number registered by the customer with the respective financial institution. Once this process is completed, customers are able to make fund transfers amongst customers of PEN member banks with the ease of simply selecting the mobile number and the respective PEN, ensuring the accuracy and the security of the fund transfer. Sampath Bank and the National Savings Bank would go down in history as the pioneer banks to have joined the PEN payment network. A number of other financial institutions would soon offer this payment option for the convenience of their customers.
The second exciting initiative is Direct Debit Authorization (DDA), which is another extension of the LankaPay CEFTS. With the launch of the DDA feature, customers would have the convenience of giving a mandate to the bank of a third party to pull up to a certain amount of funds from their bank account on a given date, without the customer having to initiate the payment at his end. These recurrent payments could range from bill payments such as electricity bills, water bills to insurance premium payments to telecom bill payments etc. This feature, heavily used in other countries, would immensely benefit organizations in their payment collection activities as well as make payment reconciliation more efficient. Especially, Banks, Insurance companies, leasing companies and utility companies would find this feature to be of great convenience in collecting their dues on time. At the initiation, Citizens Development Business Finance PLC, Commercial Leasing & Finance PLC, Deutsche Bank, LOLC Finance, Peoples Bank, Public Bank, National Savings Bank, Seylan Bank and Standard Chartered Bank will be offering the Direct Debit facility to their customers and many other banks and financial institutions are in the pipeline to join the network.
LankaClear Pvt Ltd as the operator of Sri Lanka’s National Payment Network comes under the direct purview of the Central Bank. LankaClear is entrusted with the mandate to execute the Central Bank’s mission towards promoting electronic payments in the country and harnessing financial inclusivity. Owned by the Central Bank and other licensed commercial banks in the country, LankaClear is recognized as one of the best public private partnerships in the country. Since its inception in 2002, LankaClear has been instrumental in laying a firm foundation to the country’s financial infrastructure and has saved billions of foreign exchange to the country that could have otherwise been paid to the international payment networks, by routing domestic interbank transactions. The company’s prime objective is to enable every citizen with affordable, faster, convenient and secure payment options thereby providing the much needed payment technology support in taking the country to the next elevation.
Mr. Dinuka Perera, DGM IT and Operations of LankaClear; Mr. Tharaka Ranwala, Snr. DGM-Consumer Banking - Sampath Bank PLC; Ms. Damitha Kumari Rathnayake, General Manager/CEO - National Savings Bank; Mr. D Kumaratunge, Director Payments and Settlements – CBSL; Mr. Channa de Silva, GM/ CEO – LankaClear; and Mr. Ravi De Silva, Secretary General SLBA