CB appoints two committees on fintech and blockchain

Friday, 23 February 2018 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

By Charumini de Silva 

Banking watchdog, the Central Bank on Wednesday said it has appointed two committees on fintechs and blockchain to come up with a roadmap in order to take these new technologies on board to the financial landscape in Sri Lanka.

“We have got two committees established at the Central Bank, one is looking at fintechs and the other looking at blockchain,” the Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy said in reply to a query posed at the AMCHAM business luncheon held yesterday in Colombo.

Pointing out that fintechs, blockchain, crypto-currency, fiat e-currency are still not regulated in the financial landscape of Sri Lanka, he stressed that the Central Bank was now exploring opportunities.

“We have got a lot of industry people involved in these committees as well. I think in the next couple of months, they will report in time to set out a road map. Hopefully, they will come up with a roadmap drawing on their experiences in other countries as well,” he added.

Outlining that fintechs and blockchain by nature are disruptive technologies, Dr. Coomaraswamy emphasised they were considering taking these on board with minimal impact to the financial landscape of the country.

“Clearly we want to embrace new technology. It clearly has to be absorbed with as little disruption as possible. All of these things are out there but we need to work out on ways that are best to move forward for us,” the Governor said. 

Dr. Coomaraswamy also denied any issue with PayPal coming to Sri Lanka. “There is no issue with PayPal. They don’t want us and it is not that we don’t want them. They don’t see a business case for Sri Lanka at this moment. The volume is not enough.”

Acknowledging that the Central Bank was aware e-commerce firms in the country were facing issues, he stated that the bank was willing to persuade PayPal to come if the industry request them formally. 

Pic by Indraratne Balasuriya