Sri Lanka’s first Remittance Card has been launched by the Commercial Bank of Ceylon to introduce a new dimension in convenience to the process of transferring funds from overseas to local beneficiaries.
A branded Debit cum ATM Card licensed by Visa Inc. and issued locally by Commercial Bank to recipients of remittances, the new Remittance Card eliminates the need to visit a branch of the bank to collect remitted funds.
Instead, it permits an overseas sender to deposit funds directly into a beneficiary’s account via Commercial Bank’s e Exchange platform.The funds may be withdrawn from any ATM across Sri Lanka at the recipient’s convenience.
The Remittance Card also enables the recipient of the funds to retain all or a portion of the funds in his or her account and use the card to make purchases.
Adding significant value to the card, Commercial Bank said it offers Remittance Card holders an emergency loan facility in times of need. Remittance card holders will also have additional chances of winning prizes at the consumer promotions conducted by the Bank and will be eligible for special loyalty programmes that will reward them based on the amount of money received to their accounts, the Bank said.
“This is a simple and extremely logical solution with several benefits,” Commercial Bank’s Chief Operating Officer Mr. S Renganathan said. “It is a secure option for receiving cash and promotes the savings habit while ensuring that the funds are easily accessible 24/7. Additionally, the card may be used for direct purchases at over 15,000 merchant establishments across the country, and the holders will enjoy the benefits and discounts offered to debit card holders.”
He also stated that for the first time in the country, remittance recipients have been formally recognised by a bank and been given preferential status. “The Remittance Card offers them long term solutions to better manage money received from abroad, thus uplifting their lives while they enjoy many benefits from the Bank,” he said.
The first Commercial Bank Visa Remittance Card was presented to Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Kuwait H.E. Kandeepan Bala at a recent event hosted by the Bank in the State. It was formally launched in Sri Lanka on 16th June, designated International Day of Family Remittances.
Chief Guest at this event was the Deputy General Manager – Training of the Foreign Employment Bureau Mr Mangala Randeniya who addressed the remittance recipients in the audience and explained the importance of managing the money received from overseas for better returns.
Commercial Bank is one of the most active players in Sri Lanka in the field of remittances, offering customers a range of options including ‘e-Exchange’ – the Bank’s own sophisticated real-time on-line money transfer service, as well as the MoneyGram, Ria and Express Money remittance services.
One of the Bank’s key strengths is its island-wide network of 250 branches, many of which remain open on public, bank and mercantile holidays, and its network of 626 ATMs, which is the largest automated cash dispensing system owned by a single bank in Sri Lanka. Recipients of remittances sent to the Bank enjoy many benefits such as over 60 holiday banking centres and super market counters, a dedicated customer support call centre for remittances and SMS alerts facilities once the remittance is received and is ready to be paid out.
The only Sri Lankan bank to be ranked among the Top 1000 banks of the world for five consecutive years, Commercial Bank has won multiple awards as Sri Lanka’s Best Bank, Best Trade Bank, Strongest Bank, Most Respected Bank from a number of local and international institutions and publications over several years. The Bank has also been adjudged one of Sri Lanka’s 10 best corporate citizens by the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce for several years.
Commercial Bank’s overseas operations encompass Bangladesh, where the Bank operates 18 outlets and Myanmar, where it has a Representative Office in Yangon. The Bank will open a fully-fledged Tier I Bank in the Republic of Maldives in 2016. The Bank also recently received a license to operate a fully owned Money Transfer Operation in Italy.