Sri Lanka is one of the largest cash displacement opportunities in South Asia says Visa
Sri Lanka was experiencing rapid growth in electronic transactions and expected payment value to exceed Rs. 300 billion by the end of this year, making the country one of the largest cash displacement opportunities in South Asia, according to digital payment powerhouse Visa.
“At present the overall number of credit and debit cards is 19.5 million with 44,832 point of sales (POS) devices island wide. In terms of value, these cards did Rs. 290 billion worth of transactions excluding POS and ATM withdrawals last year. Considering the growth momentum of cashless payments in the country, this year we are confident the amount will exceed Rs. 300 billion,” Visa Sri Lanka and Maldives Country Manager Anthony Watson has said.
He has told journalists in Colombo that cash would no longer be such a powerful driver of economic development.
Media reports note that key sectors such as tourism and apparel showed that Sri Lanka was confident of doubling the many opportunities for expansion in e-commerce and leaping forward toward a cashless economy.
It has also been pointed out that service sectors like ICT and software were picking up, while traditional exports including tea and coconut were looking at new markets, all of which would boost cashless payments.
“Sri Lanka is experiencing a growth in digital payment. It is not something in the years to come, but it is something citizens and businesses are experiencing right now,” he has said.
According to Watson, the impressive growth comes on the back of a number of initiatives and investments made by Visa in developing acceptance infrastructure and driving awareness of the benefits of electronic payments in the country.
“Initiatives and investments made by Visa in developing the acceptance infrastructure and driving awareness around digital payments have helped fuel growth,” Watson has added.
However, it was noted that personal consumption expenditure (PCE) on electronic payments remains at a very low level of 4.2%, which indicates that the future potential in Sri Lanka is great.
Going one step further from cash to digital payment, Watson has noted that greater accessibility was critical for Sri Lanka, noting that there was significant potential for expanding access to cashless transactions and for greater engagement with SMEs across the country.
The endorsement given by global digital payment powerhouse Visa that there is future potential in Sri Lanka and that the country is one of the largest cash displacement opportunities in South Asia indicates the opportunity in the country in expanding access to cashless transactions. It would also provide the opportunity for greater engagement with SMEs across the country.
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