The LANKAQR Nationwide Rollout Campaign was launched on 25th October 2021 at the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) with the aim of popularizing LANKAQR payments among small and medium merchants as well as consumers, as the prevalent digital payment method in the country.
At the invitation of the Governor of CBSL, Mr. Ajith Nivard Cabraal, this event was held with the participation of Hon. Namal Rajapaksa, Minister of Youth and Sports, Minister of Development Coordination and Monitoring and State Minister of Digital Technology and Entrepreneur Development (Chief Guest), Hon. Johnston Fernando, Minister of Highways, Hon. Kanchana Wijesekera, State Minister of Ornamental Fish, Inland Fish & Prawn Farming, Fishery Harbour Development, Multi-day Fishing Activities and Fish Exports and Hon. D V Chanaka, State Minister of Aviation and Export Zones Development. Heads of several government departments, financial institutions, payment service providers, as well as heads of retail, health and media institutions were also present.
Hon. Minister Namal Rajapaksa commended the Central Bank on introducing digital payment methods such as LANKAQR code payments to the country and stated that such payment methods are what is required for Sri Lankan consumers to move towards the future of digital payments. He further explained that the youth of the country were interested in moving towards digital payments rather than continuing with traditional transaction methods and therefore he believes that LANKAQR could be popular amongst the younger generation. Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal, stated that it is imperative to make digital payments fast, effective, easy and secure, in order to popularize them among the general public. He went on to state that Sri Lanka must continue to embrace digitalization in all spheres and that the LANKAQR initiative is a step in this direction.
During the event, CBSL facilitated the onboarding of several government and retail institutions by LANKAQR certified banks so that these institutions may now accept LANKAQR payments from customers. In the current environment of the COVID-19 global pandemic, it is now more important than ever to reduce the usage of cash and move towards digital payment methods, and hence, with this LANKAQR Nationwide Rollout Campaign, CBSL is confident that the general public will utilize LANKAQR for their daily transactions, at a greater frequency.
The LANKAQR code initiative was introduced by CBSL as a national QR Code Standard that provides a convenient digital payment solution using mobile devices. By scanning the LANKAQR code, customers are able to make payments directly from their bank account to the accounts of merchants or service providers, promoting customer convenience, security and the use of digital transactions, as opposed to cash. Further, LANKQR provides merchants with a low cost method of accepting digital payments. To facilitate LANKAQR transactions, 21 financial institutions have been certified to date with a total of 24 mobile applications, with LankaClear (Pvt) Ltd being the network service provider.