Mobile Money; Central bank says Yes to Dialog

Posted on June 14, 2012  /  4 Comments

Dialog Axiata, Sri Lanka’s leading mobile operator launched mobile money payment system yesterday with the consent of central bank, Sri Lanka.

Back in 2009 LIRNEasia‘s Senior Policy Fellow  Muhammad Aslam Hayat wrote about the possibility of having mobile money in Sri Lanka and LIRNEasia facilitated it.

Dialog is the first operator to be licensed by Sri Lanka’s central bank to make mobile payments.

“The dawn of the mobile money era in Sri Lanka has been made possible by the progressive, and financial inclusion focused, regulatory ethos of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka,” Wijayasuriya said.

“In this respect Sri Lanka’s payments and settlement legislation and Mobile Payment regulations stand among the most progressive in the world.”

Earlier Dialog started service for people who had credit cards or bank accounts which had around 25,000 users, but the new service is completely stand alone, under new central bank regulations and does not need a bank account.

Customers could load cash from 10,000 outlets around Sri Lanka to their ‘eZ Cash’ branded mobile account or transfer money from an internet banking account.

They could also withdraw up to 10,000 rupees a day from the outlets with the cashier being a human teller, Wijayasuriya said. The same network of dealers that are now doing mobile top ups for prepaid phone customers would offer the mobile wallet service.

All registered Dialog customers could open a 10,000 rupee wallet through the phone with no additional documentation and no registration fee. An account with a 25,000 rupee balance would need additional verification.


  1. it is pathetic that centrak bank said NO to other telecom operators…if their objective is financial inclusiveness then this licence should be available to all the telecom opertaors…

  2. I am not aware that the Central Bank denied any other applications. If such information is available, please post it here.

    We agree that this facility should be available to all operators.

    1. Hi Rohan,

      The custodian Account System as per the Mobile Payments Guidelines No. 2 of 2011 will be available to the Licensed Service Provider” which mean a mobile payment service provider licensed under the Service Providers of Payment Cards Regulations No.1 of 2009;

      There are four categories of entities who can opt for this license according to the section 5 (a) of the same.

      (i) any licensed commercial bank;
      (ii) any licensed specialized bank;
      (iii) any registered finance company;
      (iv) any public company having an unimpaired capital of at least rupees seventy five (75) million.

      Therefore, the only telco who would qualify for this is Dialog.