Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 19 July 2015





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Government Gazette

Inward remitances via mobiles

The annual inflow of foreign remittances to Sri Lanka is US $ 7.2 billion through formal channels. This is 10 percent of the national GDP and a 10 percent growth compared to last year. However, it is not possible to quantify remittances through informal channels which is considered to be a significant percentage of total remittances, Hatton National Bank Managing Director and CEO Jonathan Alles said.

Migrants still use insecure and inconvenient methods in remitting money and the industry needs improvement. The country’s inward remittance sector is booming and there is a need for speed and a secure cross-border direct transfer of remittances, he said.

The volume of inward remittances is growing and the sector is becoming a vital part of the Sri Lankan economic landscape.

The industry needs to attract the funds to the formal sector by increasing the level of bank inclusion in the country, he said.

Sri Lanka’s pioneering mobile money service, eZCash launched a service that enables foreign remittances directly to mobiles with eZCash and HomeSend.

This is the first time a mobile money transfer service has been launched in Sri Lanka, enabling foreign remittances through over 16,000 agents islandwide. It is available to 14 million Dialog, Etisalat and Hutch subscribers in Sri Lanka.

This service could grow along with the banking sector to increase bank inclusion and progressive mobile money regulations in Sri Lanka, unlike in Bangladesh and India, made possible direct foreign remittances.

The receivers could withdraw their funds through ATMs in any part of the country, Dialog Head, Dr. Hans Wijayasuriya said.

- SJ


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