HNB and PickMe facilitate cashless travel

HNB and PickMe officials at the signing of the agreement.   PICTURE BY THUSHARA FERNANDO.
HNB and PickMe officials at the signing of the agreement.PICTURE BY THUSHARA FERNANDO.

Hatton National Bank (HNB) has partnered with PickMe to facilitate cashless rides and provide customers convenience and safety.

HNB is the payment solution provider for Visa and MasterCard debit and credit cards. As Sri Lanka’s largest acquirer of Visa and MasterCard, having 44 percent market share, HNB claimed it is the first bank in Sri Lanka to facilitate an in-app payment gateway which allows card holders to pay for taxi rides using a mobile application.

The launch of cashless transportation by partnering PickMe is another e-service by HNB. The transaction collaboration in this nature is evident in HNB going forward in digitalization, HNB Managing Director and Chief Executive Jonathan Alles said.

“Digitalization is clearly the way forward and the Bank will make every effort to have a holistic approach in to the system. Therefore, it is important that we join hands with PickMe to provide customers with hassle free transactions,” he said.

With the bank up grade costing US $ 5 million, the bank expects to expand its internet and mobile banking sectors and become more customer-friendly.

The bank opened its first digital branch in Kollupitiya recently and it will have a key impact on the future of the banks. It hopes to roll out more branches in the near future.

“We are moving in the right direction and we mainly focused on digitalization, technology enhancement and accessibility,” Alles said.

“With the partnership that we entered with HNB, we hope that this will lead to increase the banking population as well. This technology is the future of business and the concept has been accepted by the market rapidly and successfully,” PickMe Chairman Ajith Gunewardene said.

PickMe has raised Rs 315 million over the past 18 months. Though it’s a start-up company, today, it has a portfolio of investors who have the mindset to invest in the company.

“During the past 12 months of operations, PickMe has collected Rs. 2 billion and plans to increase billing collection to Rs. 6 billion over the next 12 months. There were four million taxi rides last year and this is expected to be 16 million next year. About 500,000 people have downloaded the app and it will reach 1.2 million next year,” he said. The company has 8,000 registered drivers and it expected that the number will be 17,000 to 18,000 next year. The staff strength of the company is 140 at present. 

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