Sri Lanka's best digital bank 2020: People's Bank
The digital banking landscape in Sri Lanka has become increasingly competitive. Each year Asiamoney finds more banks eager to talk about their advances in digital offerings to their clients, as well as their implementation of new technologies in-house.
With so many new projects launched over the last year, it was a difficult to pin down one winner. But People’s Bank continues to stand out as an active player in the technology field.
It is no easy feat to be at the forefront of innovation when you are a state-owned entity, but People’s Bank has managed to do just that. With 745 branches and 14 million active accounts, People’s Bank – now led by acting chief executive M A Bonniface Silva – has one of the largest networks in the country, but it is digital options that have allowed it to reach millennial clients and customers in rural areas.
The bank’s early efforts have paid off, leading to standardized procedures, easier access and speedier processes. The bank’s Wave app was launched in 2018; mobile usage and transactions done through the app rose 122% in 2019.
People’s Bank implemented a retail loan origination system, branded WiZCredit, last year to digitalize the process for applying for and disbursing loans.
This system, which is applicable to housing, vehicle, education and personal loans, saves clients a trip to the bank and eases the application process, in addition to bundling in support for multiple loans and allowing customers to open additional accounts. In the coming year, People’s Bank plans to make the loan process completely paperless with digital signatures.
People’s Bank has focused on financial inclusion, particularly for those who live in villages and rural areas. The bank’s digital efforts reflect that, as it makes access easier for those people who do not have a bank branch nearby.
With a large section of the population using mobile phones, People’s Bank knows that mobile is the future for its business. The coming months should reveal additional innovations from the bank, including a wallet app and an upgrade to its corporate banking app.