The Commercial Bank of Ceylon PLC has commenced issuing chip-integrated credit and shopping debit cards under the Visa brand, becoming the first bank in Sri Lanka to offer locally-personalised chip cards.
Offering significantly enhanced security features, these chip cards can be used at points of sales in Sri Lanka and anywhere in the world for purchase of goods and services and for cash withdrawals at ATMs, the Bank said.
“Since the personalisation of the card is done locally, the Bank can issue these cards faster to its customers, supporting their fast-paced lifestyle. All new Visa Credit and Shopping Debit cards issued by Commercial Bank and renewals would contain embedded chips with integrated circuits,” said Thusitha Suraweera, Chief Manager of the Bank’s Card Centre.
Commercial Bank is the largest issuer of debit cards in Sri Lanka and accounts for the highest point of sale transaction value among all debit card issuers.
“Commercial Bank continues to invest significantly to integrate the latest technological developments into its systems and products,” Suraweera added. “The move to switch to chip cards comes at a time of expansion of the local debit card market and is a timely enhancement of security and convenience.”
For the issue of chip integrated cards, the Bank obtained the services of two globally-renowned vendors who are world leaders in their respective spheres. The service of Oberthur Technologies was obtained for the provision of chip cards and chip card personalisation software while equipment provided by Datacard was used for card personalisation.
Speaking at the launch of the bank’s chip cards Mark Garvie, Director – Asia Pacific for Oberthur Technologies said: “By contributing required expertise, dedication and worldwide leadership in the financial cards and services domain, Oberthur has worked with Commercial Bank to launch their EMV project in the market and is glad to be a part of this venture and Commercial Bank’s success.”
Shirish Rege, Regional Director – South Asia for Datacard Group USA, said Datacard Group is extremely proud to be a part of the first ever local issuance of EMV smart cards to the public in Sri Lanka pioneered by Commercial Bank of Ceylon.
“Datacard Group’s state of the art Datacard MX2000 Card Personalization System supplied through our Sri Lankan Distributor DMS Ltd will ensure that the highest levels of quality and security are maintained in financial card issuance, in line with Datacard’s leadership position worldwide,” he said.
Besides the enhanced security, all Commercial Bank cardholders benefit from value added services such as Comdeals – a programme that offers significant discounts at a large number of outlets and interest free easy instalment payment schemes.
As the cards are from Visa, customers are also entitled to international promotions offered by Visa.
The Commercial Bank’s operations in Sri Lanka consist of 185 branches and Supermarket Banking counters and an ATM network of 392 terminals.
The Bank has been adjudged Sri Lanka’s ‘Bank of the Year’ seven times by ‘The Banker,’ ‘Best Bank in Sri Lanka’ for 12 consecutive years by ‘Global Finance’ Magazine, and the Best Bank in Sri Lanka twice by FinanceAsia. It has also been rated ‘Best Local Trade Bank’ in Sri Lanka by the UK based ‘Trade Finance’ magazine.