Just In Time implements LankaClear’s common ATM switch
Thursday, 1 August 2013 02:14
Just In Time (JIT) Group together with LankaClear Ltd. implemented the LankaPay common ATM switch branded LankaPay and the official launch was held on 23 July 2013.
Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal inaugurated the live system at the glittering launch event held at Waters Edge, Colombo, where the system went live nation wide.
The common ATM switch is a milestone in the Sri Lankan banking industry which was on the cards for the last decade and now a reality under the direction of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and leadership of LankaClear with the participation of Bank of Ceylon and People’s Bank.
The LankaPay common ATM switch serves the general public in bringing convenience and safety to ATM withdrawals. High transaction costs and security concerns often prevent many people from using an ATM of a bank which is not their bank, but the LankaPay common ATM switch eliminates this concern and levies only a minimal fee.
As and when the commercial banks sign up to LankaPay, the common ATM switch will enable customers of all banks to make ATM withdrawals within the island from ATMs other than those of their servicing banks. At present the largest two public banks, Bank of Ceylon and People’s Bank, are connected, but according to LankaClear officials, several other financial institutions have already commenced the testing and certification process with LankaClear in order to join the LankaPay common ATM switch.
At the launch the Governor requested LankaClear to work with all commercial banks in the country to integrate with LankaPay common ATM switch. In addition he stated that this was something that the country had not been able to achieve since banking became internationalised and electronic.
With the aim of achieving cost effectiveness in the national payment system through sharing payment infrastructure, the task of initiating the common ATM switch for electronic retail payments in the country was undertaken by LankaClear under a recommendation made by the National Payment Council with the approval of Monetary Board of Sri Lanka.
Under the Common Card and Payment Switch (CCAPS) which is an integrated payment system and as the first step LankaPay common ATM switch was launched as Phase 1 of CCAPS; the other payment networks will be implemented subsequently in a phased manner.
Though one may wonder why this is of such great national importance since this activity is already possible, we must take into account the fact that under the existing system the transaction costs are high, and this fee is often borne by the customer, since internationally owned payment card network companies presently make this a possibility.
JIT, a wholly Sri Lankan owned IT company is proud to be a part of a project that has a significant impact on the Country’s economic strata. The national economic aspect of the project is due to the fact that money paid to internationally owned payment card network companies are high and in addition the payment to these companies needs to be remitted outside Sri Lanka. Therefore the common ATM switch will ensure that the country can dispense with the services of internationally owned payment card network companies when it comes to withdrawal transactions carried out within the island, thereby reducing the payment cost and in addition ensuring that no money is transferred out of the island.
The installation of the switch will eventually eliminate the dependency on internationally owned payment card network companies for local withdrawals. This will not only lower transaction costs but will also prevent the remittance of payments made to internationally held entities, ensuring that the money is held within the country. Further enhancements of other services to the public could be delivered in the coming months centred around the LankaPay based on market demand.
Though the banking sector identified this need over a decade ago, now Just In Time Group with FIS under the leadership and guidance of LankaClear has made this strategically important IT infrastructure a reality. Needless to say this project would not have been possible if not for the vision of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, the collaboration of the participant banks and LankaClear – the main catalyst in Sri Lanka’s payment industry.
JIT will continue to provide on-going support and maintenance ensuring that the system functions with minimum to no technical setbacks.
LankaClear is dedicated to promoting electronic payment, creating greater customer convenience and security of payments. Since its inception in 2002, the company has continuously improved its systems and processes in keeping with advancing technology with the ultimate aim of passing on benefits to the general public as well as to its stakeholders. LankaClear is owned by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and all licensed commercial banks operating in Sri Lanka. At the launch, LankaClear wholeheartedly thanked JIT and its principal FIS for successfully completing the project on time and attested to the reliability of the system.
FIS is the world’s largest global provider dedicated to banking and payments technologies. With a long history deeply rooted in the financial services sector, FIS serves more than 14,000 institutions in over 100 countries. Headquartered in Jacksonville, Florida, USA, FIS employs more than 35,000 people worldwide and holds leadership positions in payment processing and banking solutions, providing software, services and outsourcing of the technology that drives financial institutions.
Just In Time Group commenced operations in 1996 and has since morphed into Sri Lanka’s foremost systems integrator, providing timely ICT solutions and service support to a niche market. In its 17-year history, JIT has executed some of the largest, trailblazing, mission critical ICT systems and projects in Sri Lanka.
The Group provides cutting-edge integrated solutions for vital sectors such as telecommunications, government, health, financial and defence. The company has an unblemished track record in all its projects and since it works with the world’s leading ICT vendors, JIT brings cutting edge technology to the country. JIT also goes on to provide level 1 and level 2 support for all projects, with a 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year helpdesk, a service which no other company in Sri Lanka does.