HNB and CBSL’s LANKAQR partnership expands to Maharagama

CBSL Director - Bank Payments and Settlements, Dharmasri Kumaratunga presenting Fadna Tea Managing Director, Chamendra Somathunga the LANKAQR code for Fadna Tea, together with HNB Deputy General Manager, Retail and SME Banking, Sanjay Wijemanne; HNB Chief Technology & Digital Officer, Rohan Buultjens; and HNB Regional Business Head - South Western Region, Mahinda Senevirathne

Fuelling the development of a robust cashless payments eco-system, the island’s most future-ready bank, HNB PLC, expanded its support to the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL)’s pioneering ‘Rata Purama LANKAQR’ initiative with the launch of a promotional campaign for merchants in Maharagama.

The event was hosted at the bank’s Maharagama Customer Centre and featured participation from prominent CBSL and HNB officials, including CBSL Director – Bank Payments and Settlements, Dharmasri Kumaratunga as Chief Guest of the event, together with HNB Deputy General Manager – Retail and SME Banking, Sanjay Wijemanne; HNB Chief Technology & Digital Officer, Rohan Buultjens; HNB Regional Business Head – South Western Region, Mahinda Senevirathne; and HNB Maharagama Customer Center Manager, Kumudu Liyanage.

“When compared with other economies in the region, Sri Lanka still has a lot of ground to cover in order to achieve a truly digitally empowered economy. However, since the onset of the COVID pandemic, we have seen unprecedented growth in digital payment solutions,” said Dharmasri Kumaratunga, CBSL Director – Bank Payments and Settlements.

“The establishment of a common standard for these transactions through LANKA QR is a clear signal that Sri Lanka is making cashless payments that are accessible to all a top priority. We therefore express our gratitude to HNB for wholeheartedly supporting this vital national endeavour and we look forward to working with them and the banking sector as a whole in order to encourage larger numbers of merchants and customers to adopt QR-based payments as their preferred method of transacting,” he also said.

Following the ceremony, several merchants in Maharagama were presented with the LANKAQR code to conduct transactions by the CBSL Director. Teams from HNB customer centers in the region also raised awareness among merchants in the area regarding cashless and contactless payment options available via HNB SOLO.

“The bold decision by the Government and the CBSL to champion QR-code payments promises to unleash a wave of growth and innovation from the grassroots of the Sri Lankan economy up. With the number of customers shifting to QR-based payments like HNB SOLO recording an unprecedented surge in recent months, we are all excited to support merchants in Maharagama and across the island to get on board with LANKAQR,” HNB Deputy General Manager – Retail and SME Banking, Sanjay Wijemanne said.

Launched in 2019 as HNB’s flagship digital payments solution, SOLO provides the convenience of digital transactions via the affordable, easy and widely-adaptable QR code, a more cost effective option when compared to alternative payment solutions available in the market.

Having already linked LANKAQR to SOLO, HNB is among the leading financial institutions and telecommunication partners driving a cashless QR-code based payments revolution that aims to make mobile phones and digital payments the standard for day-to-day transactions island-wide.

As LANKAQR is a common Quick Response (QR) code standard developed by the CBSL, merchants will no longer need not have multiple QR codes for different platforms. Users can make payments via LANKA QR by scanning the code using SOLO. Upon completion, merchants will receive an instant SMS notification, confirming the receipt of payment.

The bank has continuously bolstered the features and functionality of SOLO while refining its user interface in order to make QR-based payments intuitive, easy to use and versatile. SOLO has also provided extensive promotions and rewards to its growing user base. Additionally, the app has the option of digitally storing all payment instruments, including VISA, MASTER debit and credit cards, and any bank account connected to the JustPay payment eco system.

With 252 customer centres across the country, HNB is one of Sri Lanka’s largest, most technologically innovative banks having won local and global recognition for its efforts to drive forward a new paradigm in digital banking. Over the recent past, the bank was ranked among the World Top 1,000 Banks list compiled by the prestigious UK-based Banker Magazine. HNB has a national rating of AA- (lka) by Fitch Ratings (Lanka) Ltd.

HNB was also declared Best Sub-Custodian Bank in Sri Lanka at the Global Finance Awards 2020.

The bank further won the Award for the Best Retail Bank in Sri Lanka for the 11th time at the Asian Banker Awards 2020, in recognition of its sustainable growth and continuous improvements in processes, products and services amidst a challenging macroeconomic environment.