Visa International will give Sri Lanka’s 1.5 million plastic card market
a boost, by issuing mini debit cards with Sampath Bank, officials said.
Sampath Bank, which issued is own SET branded debit cards when the bank
became the country’s first domestic bank to automate its services, has
also been a pioneer credit card issuer in Sri Lanka.
“I can still remember the day we launched the platinum card, the first
visa platinum card in Sri Lanka. Now a number of others have followed
us,” Sampath Chief Executive Anil Amarasuriya said after launching the
card at Colombo’s ODEL department store.
“This is another happy occasion because we have done it for the first
time. We have few first times and this is one of them.”Sri Lanka now has
more than 500,000 credit cards in issue, widening the country’s
electronic payment systems.
“The debit card market in Sri Lanka has been growing fast,” Santanu
Mukherjee from Visa Asia Pacific told LBO. “There are nearly one million
visa debit cards in Sri Lanka and debit is basically a product for the
masses. Anyone who has got a bank account can be issued with a Visa
debit card, though one may not be eligible for a credit card.”
At only 40 millimeters by 66 millimeters, the Visa Mini debit card is
nearly half the size of a standard-sized Visa card.
The debit card can be used at any of the 7600 point of sale locations
with swipe-card facilities in Sri Lanka or in other countries.
Sampath says the card will be issued to all new customers who open
accounts with the Bank and will be available to existing account holders.
They could also place a monthly limit on the value of transactions
carried out through the card.