LankaClear, the operator of Sri Lanka’s national payment network LankaPay, has launched the National Card Scheme (NCS) programme in collaboration with JCB International.

The launch follows a two-year successful piloting of the NCS programme, which was launched in June 2017.

With the commercial roll-out of the NCS programme, Sri Lankan banks will be able to roll out co-branded debit and credit cards in the country. The cards can be used at domestic and global ATMs and POS terminals.

LankaClear said that Regional Development Bank, MCB Bank, HDFC Bank of Sri Lanka, Siyapatha Finance, Sampath Bank among others will issue EMV enabled LankaPay/JCB co-branded cards.

It will be the first time that JCB branded cards will be rolled out in Sri Lanka.

LankaClear general manager/CEO Channa de Silva said: “This partnership between LankaClear and JCBI is intended to help Sri Lanka to have its own National Card Scheme (NCS) adhering to the highest international standards.

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“LankaPay/JCB cards will follow the same EMVCo standards in terms of technology and security. This would result in lower transaction costs for both banks and merchants in Sri Lanka when facilitating payments via NCS cards issued by the banks.

“Sri Lankan cardholders could also benefit from the payment experience at JCB merchants outside Sri Lanka, as well as entitle to various international services and promotions offered by JCBI.”

JCB International president and COO Kimihisa Imada stated: “We are very pleased and honoured to have the very first JCB cards in Sri Lanka collaborated with the national payment network, LankaPay.

“As Sri Lanka is one of the most attractive tourist destination countries in the world, especially for the travellers from other JCB card issued countries such as India, JCB appreciates LankaClear and LankaPay member banks for the strongest and continuous effort so far and on-going to enable JCB acceptance at local ATMs and merchants.”

LankaPay was incorporated in February 2002 and is owned by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) as well as all licenced commercial banks operating in Sri Lanka.