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Internet Day 2022 – Conducive Policies a must for Sri Lanka’s Digital Industry

By Tyrone DevottaThe digital chapter of FITIS on its internet day message says although Financial Technology (FinTech) is now a global phenomenon, in providing financial benefits to the elite and right down to the bottom of the pyramid, Sri Lanka has not cashed in on its full advantages.  This is because we lack the policy framework for Fintech companies to operate in their full capacity.

 Fintechs are invaluable for digital payments, cashless transactions and other services saving time for business owners and customers who no longer have to queue up for ATM and other physical banking services, even filing tax returns.Not implementing a proper digital identification system, prevents the under-banked and unbanked population of rural Sri Lanka from getting into the banking system.  Finance companies are also cheated of the underlying infrastructure they need to innovate digital financial products.

 In developing the right policies for FinTechs, we can take our cue from India, whose success in creating a fintech supportive environment is exemplary.  With FinTech, India’s banking sector has access to a larger market at lower costs.

 Their flagship, Unified Payments Interface (UPI), a real time payments system, developed by the National Payment Corporation of India (NPCI) has grown exponentially in the last 6 years.  Global banking firm Jeffries says, over 50% of India’s total $2.16 trillion digital payments in the 2022 financial year, will be made by UPI. Given the right policies to operate FinTech companies will not only support our economy’s revival but will also fuel the country’s start-up culture, paving the way for entrepreneurship and innovation.

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