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.
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.
About 140,000 customers were already registered with HSBC’s English language phone banking service.
But the new service is automated with synthesized voices in three languages, which the bank is hoping will persuade more customers to use it.
Customers will not have to wait until agents are free, to be assisted.
Phone banking has become a practical option in Sri Lanka after de-regulation spread telecom access wider.
Telephone lines per hundred person are now above 40, with more than 30 coming from the mobile sector, which has more than five million subscribers though call charges are higher.