Sri Lanka banks should invest in fintech start ups: senior banker

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s banks and financial institutions are not doing enough to sponsor and promote fintech start ups, veteran banker Rajendra Theagarajah said as the island’s banking regulator is on a drive to promoted digital transactions.

“At board level, there is no encouragement in banks for investing in incubation for the fintech sandbox,” Theagarajah said addressing fellow bankers and regulators at a forum at the headquarters of Sri Lanka’s central bank in Colombo.

“A lot of the incubation is happening in universities and in some of the corporates.

“Sadly, other than one or two players in this industry, we don’t see active boardroom sponsorship at bank levels or even encouraging banks and financial institutions to invest in incubation to develop this whole thing.”

He said it would be better for banks to get involved in the startup stage.

Sri Lanka’s central bank has declared 2020 as the year of digital transactions to promote use of digital platforms for payments and settlements.

Theagarajah heads Cargills Bank, one of Sri Lanka’s newest banks which is ready with a number of new technologies including QR code based payments.

Sri Lanka’s central bank is promoting digital transactions to cut costs, and make it easier for users in rural areas and small businesses to access banks and financial institutions. (Colombo/Mar11/2020)