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Thursday December 2nd, 2021
Banking

Sri Lanka CB to set up mobile app for remittances

ECONOMYNEXT – The Central Bank of Sri Lanka said it is setting up a mobile application with banks and the clearinghouse to make it cheaper for expatriate workers to remit money home.

Large volumes of remittances have gone off official channels after money printing and low interests pushed imports undermining the credibility of the exchange rate peg.

Sri Lanka has decreed a 200 to the US dollar exchange rate without giving full convertibility making it difficult to enforce.

Overseas workers are getting high premiums to send money through traditional cross-border gross settlement systems (Undiyal and hawala) used for trading from the time of ancient empires and avoid carrying money for net settlement.

A working committee has proposed the setting up of National Remittance Mobile Application or SL-Remit.

It will have self-registration of users, the ability to link to global money transfer operators & global FinTechs to facilitate remittances from any country, instant fund transfer to any bank account/mobile wallet in Sri Lanka,” the central bank said.

“In addition, the application would include value-added services such as direct bill payments, attractive foreign exchange rates and low transaction fees.”

Central Bank said it appointed a committee to study and suggest a low-cost remittance channel with the objective of increasing the inflows of foreign remittances while discouraging the use of informal channels.
(Colombo/OCt08/2021)

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