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The Sunday Times (English) and Ravaya (Sinhala) carried the results of the migrant component of the teleuse research, making direct reference to the need to set the rules in place, a topic that was addressed in a previous issue of the Times by M. Aslam Hayat. “The challenge for mobile operators is to make a remittance service as simple as handing over the money and a slip, with hand-written transfer details, to a bank clerk,” said the study. On average, a Sri Lankan migrant sends home US $ 137 per month. The most common method of remittance is through the banking system.
One of the greatest contributions that can be made to help people pull themselves out of poverty is to facilitate safe, secure, low-cost transactions. Mobile payments which are potentially accessible to almost the entire populations of emerging economies need to be encouraged in this regard. At the beginning of the year, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka indicated it will be making policies for mobile payments. Not having seen much activity on this front, we facilitated a contribution from Muhammed Aslam Hayat, a legal expert currently based in Bangladesh but with extensive regional experience. It was published in the Financial Times, 12 July 2009.
Colloquium conducted by Dr. Erwin Alampay of NCPAG, Philippines. Presentation began by looking at the potential for M-money. Why should we use m-money? Improving efficiency: Improve services, financial services.
Royal Bank of Canada and Visa Canada announced Thursday (Nov 1) they are testing technology that would allow people to use their cellphones as electronic wallets. The bank and credit card company said they are launching an Ontario-based pilot project, to be conducted in three stages in 2008, that would allow consumers to simply swipe their phone in front of a scanner to make simple purchases. The pilot program will begin with laboratory testing followed by two trials, one for RBC employees in early 2008 and another, larger trial later in the year with consumers. Read the full story in ‘CBC News’
Cell phones double as electronic wallets in RP By Oliver Teves Associated Press Last updated 10:42am (Mla time) 09/30/2007 Philippine Daily Inquirer SAN MIGUEL, Philippines–It’s Thursday, so 18-year-old Dennis Tiangco is off to a bank to collect his weekly allowance, zapped by his mother–who’s working in Hong Kong–to his electronic wallet: his cell phone. Sauntering into a branch of GM Bank in the town of San Miguel, Dennis fills out a form, sends a text message via his phone to a bank line dedicated to the service. In a matter of seconds, the transaction is approved and the teller gives him P2,500 (US$54), minus a 1-percent fee. He doesn’t need a bank account to retrieve the money. More than 5.
Cell phones double as electronic wallets – Yahoo! News Mobile banking services, which are also catching on in Kenya and South Africa, enable people who don’t have bank accounts to transfer money easily, quickly and safely. It’s spreading in the developing world because mobile phones are much more common than bank accounts. The system is particularly useful for the 8 million Filipinos — 10 percent of the country’s citizens — who work overseas and send money home, like Dennis’ mother, Anna Tiangco. Previously, she sent money via a bank wire transfer, which costs $2.

More mobile money moves

Posted by on September 3, 2007  /  0 Comments

Close on the heels of Hutch’s mobile-to-mobile payment service and Dialog’s EZ Pay solution, comes a platform-independent solution from the bank which introduced ATMs to Sri Lanka in the 1980s. LANKA BUSINESS ONLINE – LBO Sri Lanka’s Sampath Bank’s has started an electronic cash transfer method lets account holders transfer cash to all mobile brands or CDMA phone, officials said. “This facility will let customers send money to any person with a mobile phone or a CDMA phone without changing SIM cards. All you need is an account with Sampath Bank,” Anil Amarasuriya, managing director of Sampath Bank said. Powered by ScribeFire.
Hindu Businessline  ICICI Bank is gearing to conduct a test run next month. The bank has tied up with Airtel and mChek for the purpose, said Mr Sachin Khandelwal, Head – Cards Product Group of ICICI Bank. “A virtual card will be created on the phone through which an individual can carry out complete banking transactions.” Mr Khandelwal said all a customer had to do was to give his mobile number and the payment to be made to the merchant. The merchant will furnish the information given via his mobile to mChek, a mobile payment platform, which in turn will channel it to the bank for authorising the transaction, before which mChek will seek customer authorisation (PIN entered authorisation) to carry forward the transaction.
A number of Indian mobile operators have been pilot-testing transferring money using mobile handsets. There are 160 million mobile subscribers in India far outnumbering the bank branches in the country (70,000). The service could potentially allow mobile users to transfer money electronically via the handset directly and instantaneously to another mobile subscriber in the country without having to use bank accounts. However, this service cannot be rolled out until the operators are given regulatory approval both from the banking regulators and telecom regulators. But a more restricted service which would still keep banks in the loop may have a higher chance of getting a quicker approval.

Why no toll free numbers?

Posted by on February 2, 2007  /  0 Comments

Sri Lanka completed a major change in the numbering plan in 2003.   That included provision for toll free numbers.   However, from the report below, it appears that the necessary implementation actions have not been taken. LANKA BUSINESS ONLINE – LBO Though Sri Lanka does not have a toll free number system, HSBC has arranged with fixed and mobile operators to offer a toll free number. “We will expect lot more customers to use phone banking as it is easier and free of charge,” says Chandima Liyanage, who is in charge of HSBC’s distribution channels.
Findings from two surveys The Centre for Poverty Analysis (CEPA) held its twenty-seventh Open Forum,  to discuss “Living Conditions of the North and the East” of Sri Lanka in relation to the rest of the country from the findings of the Consumer Finances and Socio Economic (CFS) survey 2003/2004 conducted by the Central Bank. This is the eighth of a series of CFS surveys conducted by the central bank that dates back to 1953. The survey yielded the first set of household data on the North and the East since 1983. The CFS survey was conducted immediately after the cease fire spanning over 2003/2004. “Living Conditions of the North and the East” was presented by Dr.
Yesterday, I spoke to a large and restive crowd (made so by lack of air conditioning and a delayed start) in Matara (main city in the South of Sri Lanka) at the launch of the Pathfinder Foundation’s first book, a Sinhala translation of Janos Kornai’s Toward a free economy. I was asked to talk about globalization and the relevance of Kornai’s ideas for facing the challenges posed by globalization. In this talk that I pieced together thanks to time zone differences that caused me to wake up at 3 in the morning while in the US, I illustrated the issues referring to Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), a broad area of service exports for which efficient, flexible and low-cost telecom is a pre-condition. I think the talk provides the "big picture" of the necessity of telecom reforms of the type that we at LIRNEasia are involved in. If we are to go beyond simply giving people phones, to giving them "money in the pocket and hope in the heart" this big picture is essential.