Pocket Money

March 05, 2010 (LBO) – Etisalat’s new Sri Lankan mobile subsidiary is in talks with banks to offer financial services on mobile phones, such as money transfers for migrant workers in the Middle East, a senior company official said. Riyaaz Rasheed deputy chief executive of Etisalat Lanka said the mobile operator is seeking to tie-up with banks to offer the financial services.

“We’re already talking to two of the biggest banks in Sri Lanka,” he told LBO.
Rasheed declined to identify the banks, citing non-disclosure agreements signed with them.

Etisalat, the United Arab Emirates-based telecom firm, acquired 100 percent of the Sri Lanka operation called Tigo from Millicom International in October 2009 and has renamed it Etisalat Lanka.

The celco is the third-largest mobile telephony operator in Sri Lanka with 2.5 million customers and an estimated market share of around 20 percent.

Rasheed said one business the company was looking at was money transfer services especially for Sri Lankan migrant workers in the Middle East where Etisalat has a strong presence.

“There is a huge Sri Lanka population working outside – in the Middle East market where Etisalat operates in a big way.”

Migrant workers now remit