Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 12 June 2016





Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette

Technology initiative for tea trade

The Commercial Bank of Ceylon’s participation in an initiative in Sri Lanka’s tea plantation sector to automate the process of procurement of tea leaves and settlement for bought leaf will result in sophisticated technology and banking services reaching a largely under-served segment.

The bank has been designated as the Preferred Bank for the issue of the first Hybrid Debit Card coupled with Sony ‘FeliCa’ Near Field Communication (NFC) technology, enabling its promoter Smart Metro (Pvt) Ltd. to deploy a Debit Card cum Identification Card for tea leaf suppliers. Armed with these personalised cards linked to savings accounts at Commercial Bank, tea leaf suppliers have to merely tap their cards on the data acquisition device to identify each supplier through NFC technology and to obtain a detailed receipt for the weight of the leaves supplied.

All data for automatic calculation of payments to leaf suppliers are instantly transmitted to a central server by the data acquisition device.

The server generates a file with fund transfer instructions, which will be forwarded to Commercial Bank to credit monies earned, to the accounts of the cardholders.

The account holders may, thereafter, withdraw the money they need from the ATMs of the Bank or at branch counters. Alternatively they can also use the card to pay for purchase of goods and services.

“As a Bank that is committed to technology-enabled convenience, we are delighted to be the banking partner for this new development,” Commercial Bank’s Managing Director/CEO, Jegan Durairatnam said.

“It is always stimulating to push the boundaries of technology with ingenious new creations such as hybrid cards, and for the Bank, there is the added satisfaction of reaching and encouraging savings to a new and economically-important segment,” he said.

The Integrated Circuit Chip cards procured by Smart Metro carry properties for the payment card application as well as for the tea leaf collection system. The NFC technology partner for Smart Metro in this venture is Sony Corporation, Japan.

Several plantation companies that purchase tea leaves from thousands of tea leaf suppliers have expressed interest in migrating to the Smart Tea Procurement System that utilises this technology, a Bank official said.



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