Avanthi Colombage


Payment technologies will continue to stand strong in spite of challenges

Role of payment technology in economic growth
It is fundamental to economic growth as this enables access to seamless digital payments with speed, convenience and security sans cash hassles.

Uniqueness of Sri Lanka’s payments sector
Sri Lanka’s payments sector has evolved speedily by striking a balance between global trends and cultural norms.

Your organisation’s contribution to Sri Lanka’s economic growth
Having operated in Sri Lanka for 34 years, Visa is highly committed to developing the payments ecosystem here.

Recent developments include
Our fintech partners’ growth through innovations and Visa’s expertise.

Other innovations introduced in the payments space
We were the first to launch ‘contact-less payment’ and have enabled QR payments. In June, we introduced P2P (person-to-person) payments in Sri Lanka – this means that consumers can make and receive payments digitally in real time.

How the system works
It also works with a vast network of acquirers and merchants to enable digital payments, due to its faster and more secure transactions.

The upshot of this
Wider awareness among consumers and businesses of the benefits of digital payments will help transform Sri Lanka into a cashless economy.

Initiatives for consumers’ transaction safety and security
Our network connects billions of cards and millions of merchants. We rely on multiple layers of security to protect data flowing through our network 24/7.

Protection measures
Our risk and fraud management services help clients protect their consumers’ transactions and data.

COVID-19 recovery path
Among other initiatives, we are also helping digitalise small businesses, and providing wider and safer money movements, both in Sri Lanka and around the world.

Evolving consumer behaviour trends
Since the pandemic, hygiene concerns have accelerated contact-less and e-commerce usage.

Sri Lanka’s market
There’s a large segment of new digital consumers and businesses to serve.

Drivers of digital adoption by consumers
As digital natives increasingly use non-cash payments, we too are trending towards globally accepted digital payment methods.

Adoption made easy
Widespread acceptance of digital payments and robust security mechanisms also amplify adoption.

Challenges to digital adoption by consumers
Lack of awareness and apprehension about digital payments is the biggest challenge faced globally when promoting cashless transactions.

Competition drives innovation
Not necessarily – innovation comes from the core intent to solve challenges at scale and provide superior customer experiences.

Strength of payments technology
Continuous payment innovation brings about more seamless and user-friendly services.

Point of improvement
Superior technology should be aided by powerful connectivity, and greater adoption and consumer awareness.

One focus area for financial services professionals
Always have a problem solving mindset and think of solutions at scale.

Gender balance in the sector
While it is encouraging to see a strong female workforce in financial services, there should be equality and merit-based opportunities to achieve true gender balance.

Vision for the nation’s future in terms of payment technology
A simple and unwavering vision: to be the best way to pay and be paid… for everyone, everywhere.

Inclusion and upliftment
Globally and here in Sri Lanka, we believe that economies should include and uplift everyone, everywhere.

Qualities one needs to pursue a career in financial services
In addition to having a strong commitment to what you do, understanding the needs of the communities around you will help.

The goal
To build impactful products, services and solutions – no matter which industry you operate in.

Your mantra for success
Be authentic, know your strengths and build on them to achieve greater good in everything you do.

– Compiled by Dona Senara

Avanthi Colombage is the Country Manager – Sri Lanka and Maldives of Visa