DFCC Vardhana Bank Introduces Vardhana Visa Debit Card

Thursday, 24 March 2011 01:02 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

DFCC Vardhana Bank (DVB), the commercial banking arm of the DFCC Bank started the year 2011 with the introduction of the Vardhana visa Debit card.

Debit cards are becoming widely popular in Sri Lanka, with consumers attracted to the enhanced convenience attached to it. Debit cards allow instant cash withdrawals through ATMS and direct payments at merchant.

 “All the debit cards issued by the DVB are valid internationally. The existing customers who maintain personal accounts with our bank as well as new potential customers are eligible to obtain Vardhana visa Debit,” DVB Chief Executive Officer Lakshman Silva said.


 “Our international visa debit cards are accepted at over 15 million merchant establishments across the globe for dining, shopping, travel and most of the everyday expenses of our customers. Further it provides cardholders the accessibility to worldwide Visa ATM network of over two million ATMS for cash withdrawals. In Sri Lanka it self there are over 20,000 merchant outlets and over 1600 visa ATMS accepting Vardhana visa Debit cards” said the bank’s senior Manager for cards & Personal Financial services, Gemunu Gunasumana.

As stated by Lakshman Silva DVB currently has a network of 124 branches and service centres island wide which comprises of 49 branches and 75 service centres. The bank has opened branches in Ampara, Batticaloa, Jaffna, Trincomalee, and Vaunia making a significant presence in North & East and some more branches have been planned to be opened in the near future.

In the wake of the credit card industry witnessing a slide in usage in recent times, DVB is set to augment its business by providing selected customers with credit cards.

This is being carried out with the intention of recognising their valued customers and providing credit card facilities and enhancing the product portfolio, DVB CEO Lakshman Silva said.

“We want to enlarge the scope of commercial banking facilities offered by DVB,” he said.

Credit cards were introduced by DVB in 2010 using the micro chip embedded in it. Users of these credit cards are provided with added security measures with card holders are sent SMS alerts on each transaction carried out enabling them to ascertain if any unauthorised transactions take place and if so to report them immediately to the bank and obtain a replacement card.

Competitive rate of interest of 2% per month is being provided on these cards, the bank’s Senior Manager for Personal Financial Services and Cards Gemunu Gunasumana said.

The bank also provides a higher grace period of a maximum of 51 days and the availability of obtaining cash advances upto a limit of 50% of the assigned credit limit.

These credit cards are internationally valid and accepted in more than 15 million merchant establishments and at more than 2 million VISA ATMs worldwide.

The criteria in selecting the prospective credit cardholders is by ascertaining the bank’s longstanding customers both at the corporate and retail level, he said.

It has also been found that both credit cards and debit cards are extensively used mostly in urban areas.

This has become a challenge to the banking community, it was pointed out.

The banking sector is attempting to encourage more users to deal with banks and increase their usage of the plastic card.

Silva said that they intended to promote the DVB credit card as the main credit card of their customers and not as an alternative.

This will be carried out by providing credit cards of DVB only to valued and loyal customers of DFCC.

The bank will be engaged with marketing the new credit cards through its branch network catering to the high end customers of DFCC and DVB.

With a growing demand for the provision of credit cards by its loyal customers the bank fears no credit risk as it is being issued on the strategy to suit market conditions.

Commenting on the current system of credit card usage in the country, Gunasumana observed that the best strategy would be to concentrate on existing good customers and members of potential market segments and to streamline the issuing process.

It was stated that today banks are more stringent in its evaluation for new credit cardholders.

In addition to introducing its visa credit and debit cards, as a part of expanding its product portfolio DVB has introduced two very attractive personal financial asset products namely, ‘Vardhana Sandella’, a housing loan scheme and ‘Vardhana Nenasa’, a higher educational loan scheme.