Aug 25, 2016 (LBO) – A global leader in payments technology, Visa today announced the opening of a local office in Colombo and the appointment of Anthony Watson as the Country Manager for Sri Lanka. Visa has been present in Sri Lanka since 1989 and has consolidated its position as a market leader. Speaking at the media briefing Group Executive of Visa Asia Pacific, Chris Clark said the payments industry is undergoing a rapid change with new technologies and innovations changing the way people pay and get paid. “Visa is at the forefront of this change collaborating with financial institutions, merchants, governments, startups and developers across the world to create the commerce experiences of the future,” he said. “We value the long standing relationship we already have with our clients and partners in Sri Lanka and are excited about the future, to bring new innovations to Sri Lanka.” Speaking at the event Group Country Manager of Visa India and South Asia T.R. Ramachandran said Sri Lanka is a priority market for Visa in South Asia and one where we see tremendous opportunity for the growth of electronic payments. He said by establishing a local office and appointing an in-market country manager we’ll be better positioned to support our clients, partners and merchants to realize this growth and deliver the benefits of electronic payments to consumers and businesses across the country. Visa Country Manager Anthony Watson said he is going to focus on growing the electronification of commerce as we transition cash payments to electronic payments across the country. “In doing so, we will be providing Sri Lankan people with easier and more secure access to their funds, supporting local businesses to grow, encouraging tourism and helping to stimulate economic growth,” “I’m excited to be on the ground here in Sri Lanka and I’m looking forward to working closely with our clients, businesses and the Sri Lankan government to achieve this vision,” “I am both honored and excited to be establishing Visa’s office in Sri Lanka as I believe electronic payments can have a truly profound impact on both the people of Sri Lanka and the country’s economy.” Watson has been associated with Visa since 2009, joining as the Senior Client Relationship Manager handling Visa Processing services in Australia and New Zealand. In 2011, he moved to Visa’s Singapore office to lead the prepaid product development and infrastructure across Asia Pacific and then headed the Product Development & Strategy for the same region, before his appointment as Country Manager Sri Lanka. Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions, and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable electronic payments. It operates one of the world's most advanced processing networks VisaNet which is capable of handling more than 65,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and assured payment for merchants.