Visa Inc. (NYSE: V), the world’s leader in digital payments, announced the appointment of Avanthi Colombage as Country Manager – Sri Lanka and Maldives for Visa. Avanthi will head the operations of the company in the two markets from Colombo and be a part of Visa’s leadership team in the region. She replaces Anthony Watson, who has transitioned to lead Visa’s business in New Zealand.
Avanthi joined Visa in 2017 and has been responsible for client relationships and driving business growth for Visa and its clients. In her client relationship role at Visa, Avanthi has been instrumental in managing various long-term clients of Visa and in forging new partnerships, driving new payment flows and engaging with fintechs across the market.
Prior to joining Visa, Avanthi was with HSBC for 17 years in various roles spanning Commercial Transactional Banking, Card Products and Loyalty, Direct Channels and Digital Banking, and had also led the Cash Management vertical in the Maldives. During her stint at HSBC, Avanthi was also the Head of the Issuing Forum of the PCIASL (Payment Card Industry Association of Sri Lanka).
Avanthi’s in-depth experience in Sri Lanka will aid Visa in deepening its reach and relationships with key decision makers and industry stakeholders, spanning across banks, fintechs, marquee merchants and regulatory authorities. Avanthi was also appointed by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka as a member of the Open Banking Working Committee for 2020-21 to create a collaborative framework for sharing open data.
TR Ramachandran, Group Country Manager, India and South Asia, Visa said, “We are delighted to announce the appointment of Avanthi Colombage as our new Country Manager for Sri Lanka and Maldives. A well-known professional in the banking and financial services industry, Avanthi has played a crucial role in strengthening our business relationships in the region. The Sri Lankan market holds significant growth potential for digital payments – particularly as the government and the regulators actively encourage Sri Lanka’s shift towards a digital economy, through programs such as Cash Wadhe; we look forward to Avanthi and the larger Visa team partnering all stakeholders towards this mission”
On her appointment, Avanthi Colombage, Country Manager – Sri Lanka and Maldives said, “I am excited to have been chosen by Visa to lead our business in the region. Across Sri Lanka and Maldives, we are on the cusp of a significant opportunity to drive greater financial inclusion through digital payments. As the pioneering digital payment network in these markets, Visa is best placed to leverage these opportunities alongside our clients. Working closely with our clients, the regulator and business partners, I am keen to build on the good work done over the years and bring the best of digital payments from across the world to Sri Lanka.”