DirectPay receives backing from John Keells Accelerator

Wednesday, 28 February 2018 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The digital payment ecosystem in Sri Lanka has seen an upward growth trend since its inception. Sri Lanka is incidentally the first country in South Asia to enable same-day retail electronic transfer facilities, offering the public the facility for faster fund transfers between banks. These are now used for many types of payments such as Peer-to-Peer (P2P) transactions, bill payments and credit card payments etc.

DirectPay is a fintech start-up in Sri Lanka offering digital payment solutions. With their mission to make Sri Lanka a truly cashless society, DirectPay aims at providing financial inclusion through cashless means giving affordability and accessibility to all its users and merchants. 

Catering to a broad range of industries and offering third-party integrations, the aim is building an ecosystem where every citizen can make payments simply, securely and quickly. 

As such, DirectPay provides innovative solutions to the masses and the Government. DirectPay’s solution facilitates low-value transactions via LankaPay CEFTS network, using smartphones between customers and merchants, eliminating the high cost to third-party payment verification agencies and expensive equipment. DirectPay complies with the BSS (Baseline Security Standards) for mobile applications, a standard baseline security standard for developing mobile based applications for the financial sector organisations. 

John Keells X Open Innovation Challenge was launched by John Keells Holdings to boost creative and intellectual business talent in Sri Lanka through an ambitious program. This competition was aimed at encouraging innovators in making a pipeline idea a reality. 

Teams were selected based on their core strengths, and their level of motivation, the intellectual skills, and their sense of design.

DirectPay was initially selected for the first round and were then chosen for the final 30.  DirectPay will now be a part of a six-month fully-fledged Accelerator Program. During this period DirectPay will access to a ton of JKH resources including seed funding, a growth marketing curriculum, senior mentorship, access to JKH services, office space, and above all, a platform to accelerate their growth.

With DirectPay having proved the senior leaders of John Keells Holdings that they are on a clear path to disrupt the digital payments ecosystem in the country, the start-up has been able to successfully bag further investment from the conglomerate. 

The credentials of the founding team played a crucial role in instilling investor confidence. DirectPay’s four founders, with their diverse backgrounds, approached the issue from a design perspective rather than as a technical problem that needs to be solved.

The founders of DirectPay includes Kanishka Weeramunda, the mastermind who is driven by the mission of creating sustainable payments ecosystem in the country,  Dinesh Karunathilaka, with over eight years experience in open source technologies plus over three years of experience in the fintech industry. Avindi Perera has over two years of experience in the financial technology domain and is a veteran in market requirements analysis in matured and emerging markets. Sasindu Pathiranage, having over six years of experience in some of the largest corporations in the country, has expertise in system integrations and implementations.