News ≫ Visa sees tremendous growth potential in Sri Lanka

Visa sees tremendous growth potential in Sri Lanka

Aug 25, 2016
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By Supun Dias
Visa, a global leader in payments technology, announced that it would be setting up an office in Colombo, second in the region after India and the appointment of Anthony Watson to run it as the new Country Manager.
Visa commenced operations in Sri Lanka in 1989 and currently works with 19 local banks and nine other card issuers in the market.
Visa Group Executive for Asia Pacific Chris Clark said that the payments industry is undergoing a rapid change with new technologies and innovations changing the way people pay and how they get paid.
“Visa is at the forefront of this change and we value our long-standing relationship we have with our Sri Lankan partners and we are excited about the future to bring new innovations to Sri Lanka,” Clark told journalists during a press briefing in Colombo.
Visa Group Country Manager for India and South Asia T.K. Ramachandran, who was also present at the press briefing, said they have identified the tremendous growth and the potential in electronic payments along with Sri Lanka’s economic development.
“We can help this course by setting up a new office in Colombo, which is the second in the region after India. Also the boom in the tourism industry is another focus point for us because there will also be a need for electronic payments.
We are working closely with the Central Bank and with other government agencies to develop the e-commerce platform in the country,” he said.
“I will be focusing on the growing digitalization of commerce as we transition cash payments to electronic payments across the country. We will be also providing Sri Lankan people with easier and more secure access to their funds, supporting local businesses to grow, encouraging tourism and helping to stimulate economic growth,” said the new Country Manager Anthony Watson.
According to Visa, during the last five years, there has been an 85 percent growth in Visa debit cards and a 25 percent growth in Visa credit cards in Sri Lanka.
There are 15.8 million debit cards in Sri Lanka in circulation now.
With 80 percent of households having access to financial service, Visa plans to tap this potential in order to get them access to electronic payments.
The GDP of Sri Lanka is US $ 82 billion and US $ 45 billion of that accounts for personal consumption. According to Visa, only 4.2 percent out of it is carried out as electronic payments.

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