July 13, 2016 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Cabinet has approved the introduction of a National Payment Platform (NPP) to facilitate digital commerce and online transactions, a post-cabinet statement said.
The Information and Communication Technology Agency (ICTA) has been directed to implement the NPP, with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka facilitating its implementation
With NPP, all government organizations will be able to allow business and citizens to make online payment on real-time for services offered.
“Today government institutions like Sri Lanka Customs, Department of Inland Revenue, Excise Departments and many other government institutions and business are unable to accept online payments.”
This is because transaction values are large and government institutions cannot bear the high transaction fees levied by such international card schemes.
“Citizens fall back with the lack of alternatives for convenient online payment solutions. As a result, the country as a whole is yet to achieve a standard level of digitalization.”
The implementation of the NPP will ensure that Sri Lanka will significantly improve in the Global Index of ease of doing business, the proposal said.
ICTA will facilitate banks integrating with the NPP with the supervision of the Central Bank. LankaClear may be able to integrate with NPP if they wish to provide payment service for Government Institutions, the statement added.
“The government has already taken several measures towards achieving the above. The amendment to existing Financial Regulations on ‘Payments to Government Institutions through Electronic Media’ (FR 447) is one such important improvement.”
Allowing the public to transfer funds through the mobile phone for the payment of goods and services using their NDI, is another aspect of the NPP that is envisaged.