Holders of UnionPay credit and debit cards can now withdraw money from more than 500 ATM terminals in Sri Lanka of the Commercial Bank of Ceylon, under a partnership between the Bank and China UnionPay.
This partnership between the country’s largest private bank and one of the world’s largest payment card schemes, will facilitate visits to Sri Lanka by tourists and business people from China, the Bank said.
Commercial Bank is the first Sri Lankan bank to link its ATMs with UnionPay, enabling Sri Lanka to offer wider acceptance of UnionPay cards, which are accepted in 125 countries and regions besides China.
According to the latest statistics from the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA), tourist arrivals from China in January – March 2012 recorded an increase of 13.3 per cent over the corresponding period last year.
“As the largest automated cash dispensing system in Sri Lanka, the Commercial Bank ATM network can significantly support the emergence of China as an important market for tourism and trade,” said Thusitha Suraweera, Chief Manager of the Card Centre of Commercial Bank. “The partnership between UnionPay and Commercial Bank also has the potential to evolve further to offer wider services to visitors in the future.”
In late 2011 the Commercial Bank of Ceylon began offering customers the option of transacting in Chinese Yuan for import and export dealings with counterparts in the People’s Republic of China, following the inclusion of the ‘Renminbi’ as one of the Designated Currencies in Sri Lanka by the Central Bank. Consequently, Commercial Bank customers can now receive quotations, open LCs and make payments in Yuan, instead of US Dollars, the currency previously used for dealings with businesses in China.
Commercial Bank has also enabled customers maintaining Non Resident Foreign Currency (NRFC) accounts at the Bank to hold their funds in Yuan if they wish to do so.
China UnionPay operates the inter-bank clearing and settlement system, develops the worldwide UnionPay Card acceptance network and promotes the issuance and usage of the UnionPay Card as well as other innovative payment solutions, so as to provide quality, efficient and safe payment services to cardholders. To date, the total number of UnionPay Cards issued at home and overseas has exceeded 2.9 billion. The UnionPay network has been extended to all cities and rural areas in China. In addition, China UnionPay has enabled UnionPay Card acceptance in over 125 countries and regions through extensive cooperation with about 400 institutions around the world.
Commercial Bank is the largest private bank in Sri Lanka, and the only Sri Lankan Bank listed in the world’s Top 1,000 Banks. It operates a network of 216 service points in Sri Lanka and the country’s single largest network of 516 ATMs. The Bank has been adjudged ‘Best Bank in Sri Lanka’ for 14 consecutive years by ‘Global Finance’ Magazine and has won multiple awards as the country’s best bank from ‘The Banker,’ ‘FinanceAsia,’ ‘Euromoney’ and ‘Trade Finance’ magazines.