HNB Partners SLT-MOBITEL to Launch ‘IthuruIthuru’ Island-Wide Agency Banking Service Utilizing mCash Agent Network
Two of Sri Lanka’s giants in banking and telecommunications, HNB PLC and SLT-MOBITEL, announced a landmark partnership to launch ‘HNB IthuruIthuru’, an agency banking service that will enable HNB customers to make deposits to HNB General and Minor Savings Accounts through selected SLT-MOBITEL mCash agents.
Aimed at drastically expanding financial inclusion while promoting the savings habit across the island, the launch marks HNB’s first entry into the agency banking space.
Global experiences with similar agency banking relationships have proved to have a strong positive impact on the generation of domestic savings. Working under the close supervision of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, the new partnership between HNB and SLT-MOBITEL is expected to create similar positive impacts, particularly for Sri Lankans living in more remote, and rural areas.
“We are proud to have partnered with SLT-MOBITEL in order to continue delivering innovative methods of expanding access to financial services for all Sri Lankans. While HNB has been investing heavily in expanding our physical and digital presence, the introduction of agency banking services through SLT-MOBITEL extensive mCash network will enable an exponential increase in our reach. Ultimately this means better access to essential financial services, especially in remote rural areas, and greater convenience and choice for customers island-wide. This is a win-win scenario for all parties, and a major milestone for the nation,”
“Similar models have been used in African markets like Kenya where approximately US$ 7.27 billion in transactions were conducted via banking agents, while initiatives have also been commenced in Uganda, Tanzania, and Malaysia. We are confident that HNB’s launch of agency banking services will have a similarly transformative effect in terms of breaking down barriers to financial inclusion which remains a key imperative for HNB moving forward.” HNB Executive Director /Chief Operating Officer, Dilshan Rodrigo stated.
He went on to explain that HNB’s partnership with SLT-MOBITEL was also part of a wider strategy from the bank which aims to create a new paradigm in banking services in Sri Lanka, by taking the Bank’s products and services out of its branches and directly to customers in order to create meaningful engagement and cultivate long-lasting relationships.
ChandikaVitharena, CEO, Mobitel said, “As the National ICT Solutions Provider, SLT-MOBITEL remains committed to supporting the nation’s vision of bridging the digital divide and mCash, our state-of-the-art mobile money platform is ideally placed to pave the way for Sri Lanka’s financial inclusion goals. Recognised as the revolutionary mobile money concept in the country, mCash offers 3600 cutting-edge mobile financial solutions by empowering customers and businesses towards cashless transactions that are seamless, efficient, and secure. We are pleased to partner Hatton National Bank to become a key enabler to leverage the mobile payments ecosystem and propel a valued and vibrant sector.”
In order to make deposits, any HNB General or Minor Savings Account holder can simply engage with any of the selected SLT-MobitelmCash agents such as Softlogic, Singer, Lanka Bell, as well as any SLT-MOBITEL outlets to make a deposit to their account.
Customers will have to produce their name, Savings Account number, together with the amount they wish to deposit, their mobile number and their NIC number to the mCash agent, to proceed with the transaction.
Once the deposit is made, two automated text messages will be dispatched from HNB and SLT-Mobitel separately to the customer verifying the deposit. Each customer will be allowed to make a maximum deposit of Rs. 25,000 per day.
With 256 customer centres across the country, HNB is one of Sri Lanka’s largest, most technologically innovative banks, having won local and global recognition for its efforts to drive forward a new paradigm in digital banking. Consolidating its reputation for banking excellence, HNB bagged the Best Retail Bank and Best SME Bank awards in the Banking category at the International Finance Awards 2021. The bank was also ranked among the World Top 1,000 Banks list compiled by the prestigious UK-based Banker Magazine for five consecutive years. HNB was also declared Best Sub-Custodian Bank in Sri Lanka at the Global Finance Awards 2020. HNB has a national rating of AA- (lka) by Fitch Ratings (Lanka) Ltd.