Digital Transformation of Sri Lanka’s Finance

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Digital Finance in Sri LankaSource: emalta.com.br

Written by – Ranuli at OmeBiz

Digital finance is when payments and financial services can be carried out through mobile phones and the internet, which could help transform lives. This would help drastically change economic perspectives for individuals, businesses and governments.

Mobile money is currently one of the best opportunities in the market that has the potential of reaching over 1.6 billion new retail customers in emerging economies. The mobile industry has processed approximately $1 billion per day globally in 2017. In South Asia, the value of transactions rose from $5.7 billion in 2016 to $8.4 billion in 2017, an increase of 48.9% in just one year!

In Sri Lanka, we have noticed that within the past few years that traditional banking has completely changed. Innovative changes in digital finance have made the process more accessible and convenient for everyone.

Here are a few examples of the changes we have witnessed in the past few years;

Dialog Finance

Dialog FinanceSource: dialog.lk

In September 2017, Dialog acquired 80.34% stake of Colombo Trust Finance PLC for Rs. 1072 Billion. Dialog Finance is registered by the Monetary Board of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka under the Finance Companies Act 78 of 1988.

They offer a wide range of services which includes savings, digital loans, fixed deposits, lesi pay, business loans, factoring and margin trading. Most of these services are yet to be launched. Fitch Ratings Lanka gave Dialog Finance a credit rating of AA (lka) with a stable outlook.

Another service that Dialog Axiata Plc provides is eZ Cash, it is where you can perform a wide range of financial transactions using your phone. The service enables you to have a cash account on your mobile phone which you can top-up and carry out cash transactions.

Frimi

Almost every restaurant or shop that you go to, you must have noticed an orange tent card next to the counter that says Frimi.

Frimi is a digital bank that is powered by Nations Trust Bank, they have been ranked amongst the top 30 best digital financial services providers in the Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa under the category of “The Best Digital Banks & Financial Institutions for 2018″ by The Asian Banker.

Frimi enables customers to enjoy the benefits of a high-interest rate savings account which includes services such as bank transfers and bill payments, transferring money to anyone, anywhere within the country. The best part is that when they are transferring some cash, they would not be required to have a bank account. You could just simply send the money across to their phone, then they could withdraw cash from any Nations Trust Bank through a cash token.

The most attractive feature that Frimi offers are the discounts and cash backs from a wide variety of merchants, which even includes supermarkets. These payments can be done using QR codes, NFC and mobile to mobile.

Flash

Commercial bank has gotten on board with digital finance as well with their launch of the app ‘Flash’. Besides basic functions such as transferring funds, capturing payments based on QR codes and NFC technology and many more. The most attractive features that flash offers are the budgeting and savings management tool. The budgeting tool allows the app to identify and segregate transactions on a real-time basis hence the user could plan their spending. The savings management tool will enable you to create saving targets.

Mobitel and LOLC

Mobitel has a platform called mCash, which is a mobile app that allows you to deposit, withdraw, transfer funds, and make payments for goods and utility bills. The service is only available for Pre-Paid and Post Paid Mobitel customers.

Also, Mobitel has joined hands with LOLC Finance to offer Digital Loans via its mCash platform. This initiative is a break-through method which provides loans via one’s mobile device.