Sri Lanka launches internationally accepted National Card Scheme

The Central Bank of Sri Lanka together with LankaClear (Pvt) Ltd., ( LCPL) achieved a significant milestone in the country’s payment landscape by launching the National Card
Scheme (NCS). NCS, will be operated by LCPL in partnership with the international payment card operator JCB International of Japan. Initially, a debit card will be issued under this card
scheme. Additionally, the NCS cards will be accepted across over 4,800 ATMs Island wide connected to LankaPay network to facilitate cash withdrawals.

The first LankaPay-JCB co-badged debit card issued by MCB Bank went live via acquiring banks of the Common Point of Sales (CPS) Switch, namely, Cargills Bank and Commercial Bank of Ceylon. Seylan Bank will also join CPS on a non-commercial basis. Customers of
MCB Bank who have been issued with LankaPay-JCB co-badged debit cards can now use all Point of Sale (POS) terminals operated by these banks.

The NCS, initiated in 2017 by LCPL under the direction of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, aims to bring in greater autonomy to the country’s payment infrastructure and reduce the current outflow of foreign exchange as service fees when making local currency payments.

Enabling financial inclusion is one of the prime objectives of NCS. With the launching of the NCS, financial institutions will be able to offer card based payment solutions to their customers at a lower cost.

Accordingly, customers of financial institutions catering largely to the
underserved segments of the market, who account for the most number of cash based transactions in the country, will benefit from card-based solutions offered by NCS, allowing them to enjoy the benefits of payment technology advancements.