Clear Path

July 20, 2012 (LBO) – LankaClear Private Limited, Sri Lanka’s main cheque and electronic clearing house, is spending 300 million rupees to deploy a nationwide common card and payment switch that allows customers to use any bank teller machine, officials said. The company, which is jointly owned by the Central Bank and local commercial banks, says the national payment switch will carry out transactions at a nominal cost to banks and consumers.

“We are looking at considerably reducing transaction costs,” said Sunimal Weerasooriya, General Manager/Chief Executive Officer, LankaClear.

Few of the some 2,500 automatic teller machines (ATM’s) spread across Sri Lanka, allow customers to operate their accounts via multiple commercial banks.

Those that offer the service, charge between 30 rupees to about 60 rupees, as the transaction is routed via the local banks and a foreign payment settle system.

“The common switch will create a platform that facilitateslocal payment card transaction process and save a considerable amount of foreign exchange to the country,” Weerasooriya said Thursday.

The switch would be implemented in three phases. Under the first phase, a common ATM switch will be implemented. Phase two will see a mobile payment and El