Central Bank


LIRNEasia has always been vocal on Mobile Payment/Mobile money. Under the research theme Mobile 2.0 we looked at both horizontal (Telco and regulations)  and vertical (m-payments) aspects of mobile money. In 2009 facilitated by LINREasia, LIRNEasia‘s then Senior Policy Fellow Muhammad Aslam Hayat, wrote on the possibilities of having mobile money in Sri Lanka.  Dialog, after many years of negotiations with the regulators, implemented  ez Cash in June 2012.
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.
Narayana Murthy, the ‘IT Guru’ is in Colombo. ‘Entrepreneurship and IT for National Integration: A Challenge for Sri Lanka’ was his topic addressing Sri Lankan software industry representatives, on Saturday. The well attended event was organized by the three month old Sri Lanka Association of Software and Service Companies (SLASSCOM) that has ambitious plans to follow elder brother, NASSCOM. Murthy talked for 40 minutes, and delivered the gems, for anybody to pick. Develop infrastructure; Build HR or import if not enough; Encourage foreign investment; Avoid fat government; Give confidence to private sector; Nurture venture capitalists: Change labour laws; Provide equal opportunities for both genders; Ensure peace, political stability and correct fiscal environment because they are the key to the growth of IT and ITES industries and don’t be scared to innovate.
One hopes of course that this will not detract from the Central Bank’s work on bringing inflation down to single digits and rebuilding trust in the banking system. Sri Lanka will issue new rules covering financial transactions through mobile phones, Central Bank Governor Nivard Cabraal said, as the island’s fast growing celcos join banks to offer new payment methods. “Given the increased usage of mobile phones for financial transactions, the Central Bank intends to issue new operating guidelines for mobile payments during 2009,” Cabraal said in an annual policy speech Friday. He said the move was part of an overall effort to improve the confidence in electronic payments, which would also cover payment cards. Full report.

BOP strategy in the Caribbean

Posted by on September 29, 2007  /  0 Comments

Dr Hans Wijayasuriya, the CEO of Dialog Telekom, Sri Lanka’s largest mobile operator, gave an illuminating talk on his company’s BOP strategy on the 27th of September, at the Central Bank lecture series.   He claims that his company was the first in the region to move away from a focus ARPU to a profit-per-minutes focus as early as 1997-98.   Here is another mobile operator who is doing well with a similar strategy. Telecoms in the Caribbean | The Irish are coming | Economist.com Digicel has prospered by introducing modern technology and innovative services into stodgy, uncompetitive markets.

Choices: Calls or gold?

Posted by on March 10, 2007  /  0 Comments

By Rohan Samarajiva  LBO >> Choices : Priceless Link       08 March 2007 08:26:29 http://www.lbo.lk/fullstory.php?newsID=2020236857&no_view=1&SEARCH_TERM=24    March 08 (LBO) – Indonesia, like Sri Lanka, sends its women to foreign lands to work as housemaids.
According to an equity research firm, the limits of the addressable market in mobile in Sri Lanka will be reached when 2 million more phones are connected. This conclusion needs further interrogation, but on first glance it looks like they have the mobile/per 100 number understated by about 1.1, which does not bode well for the veracity of their claims. For 4.3 million phones to give a mobile teledensity of 21.
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.
This serves, perhaps, as a response to the most recent comment: Almost all the efforts of elites like Prof Samarajeewa has been a farce. The rural -urban gap has widened as clearly indicative of offerings made in wireless Chamintha Thilakarathna (Reuters) Colombo, October 1 After 25 years selling fruit and vegetables at a market in downtown Colombo, Sri Lankan trader MW Ranjith made an investment that to his amazement transformed his life and his business — he bought a mobile phone. For years Ranjith, and thousands of traders and farmers like him, went without phones, discouraged by high land line charges and lengthy installation delays. But now a boom in the mobile telecoms market is pulling the informal sector into the economy and even influencing food prices. “Before I got the phone, if I ran out of vegetables I had no way of getting in touch with farmers,” said the 50-year-old trader, sitting with his phone in one hand and calculating his profits for the day with the other.

Randy and Michael Spence

Posted by on September 19, 2004  /  0 Comments

Dr. Randy Spence spoke of his experiences in Somalia, where there isn’t much government to speak of. But people are using ICTs. However, he emphasized that ICTs must drop in cost for the investments of the 1990s to bear fruit. “I’m involved in nanotech and biotech, and fairly rapid diffusion of this technology will be very important.