Tuesday, June 25, 2024

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Central Bank makes a strategic move to accelerate digital financial inclusion

By: Staff Writer

Colombo (LNW): Sri Lanka Central Bank has made a major move to accelerate digital financial inclusion—bringing even the smallest of transactions into the formal banking system—is one of the key outcomes of Sri Lanka’s first National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS).

The NFIS is a multi-stakeholder effort led by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, with technical and financial assistance from IFC, under the IFC-DFAT Women in Work program.

The basis of the strategy was the result of a national survey that assessed the level of financial inclusion in the country.

The findings of the survey, which took a gender-sensitive approach, revealed that 62 percent of women were aware of making financial transactions through mobile phones. However, a little less than one-third claimed they were comfortable making mobile transactions.

The survey also highlighted a similar trend in payment cards. While ownership of credit and debit cards is slowly increasing, Sri Lanka essentially remains a cash economy, with only 38 percent of the population at ease using debit cards

With the aim of creating awareness on this strategy ,the Central Bank of Sri Lanka Launched the dedicated Web Portal of the Regional Development Department (RDD Web Portal) on 04.08.2023, signifying its strategic orientation towards financial inclusion initiatives.

RDD Web Portal was developed with the financial assistance of the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a longstanding partner of the Central Bank, in promoting financial inclusion since 2018.

This latest initiative is part of the overall National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) for Sri

Lanka – in which, IFC played a significant role to make financial services more accessible, efficient, and affordable for all households and businesses in the country, Central bank said.

The Central Bank under its new legislation is now vested with the responsibility of promoting financial inclusion,

Hence launching of the Web Portal marks an important step towards promoting financial inclusiveness in the country and is expected to facilitate all stakeholders of the country through dissemination of information on the financial inclusion efforts of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.

RDD Web Portal provides an interactive experience to its users with a user-friendly interface and

equipped with financial literacy materials and tools i.e. publications, Training-of-Trainers (ToT) modules, quizzes and games to enhance financial knowledge, attitude, and behavior of users supporting to make informed and rational financial decisions.

This portal is expected to act as a shared platform for all stakeholders to access information and collaborate in their financial literacy initiatives. This will complement the upcoming Financial Literacy Roadmap for Sri Lanka, to be implemented from 2024.

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