HNB records sharp spike in cardless transactions during COVID lockdown with Cash to Mobile

Leading private sector bank HNB PLC, reported a 70 percent increase in the use of its cardless cash withdrawal facility, Cash to Mobile during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Through the period of January to May 2020, the bank witnessed an average (month-to-month) increase of 60 percent on Cash to Mobile transactions. The facility saw a significant 127 percent increase in unique users’ interactions in March 2020, as Lankans from across the country not only completed essential transactions but also transferred funds to their loved ones, who used the facility to withdraw funds from an HNB ATM without a card or account with the bank. “The sudden spike in digital cash payments indicate that Sri Lankans are increasingly embracing alternative transactional formats and finding creative uses for these kinds of services. Especially at a time when social distancing measures are rigorously practised, services like cardless cash withdrawals were becoming a popular method for completing day- to-day transactions,” HNB Deputy General Manager- Retail and SME Banking, Sanjay Wijemanne said. This included everything from paying their groceries to tuition fees to helping out a loved one in need of emergency funds. Having noticed the increased volume of transaction of the cash to mobile facility, during the peak of the pandemic, HNB waived off the handling fee for the period of April and May. “Given HNB’s aggressive drive to offer flexible and convenient solutions, we believe this is just the beginning of how these facilities, ideally suited to cater to the emerging needs of our customers, will be used to complete a wide range of transactions in a post pandemic world,” he added. The facility allows HNB account holders to transfer up to Rs. 40,000 per transaction to a mobile through the bank’s mobile banking portal. The receiver can then use the PIN which will be sent via SMS to withdraw cash from any of the 617 HNB ATMs across the country. HNB was adjudged the Number One business entity among top Sri Lankan corporates by Business Today and has been receiving continuous praise for its pioneering initiatives across the entire spectrum of its operations. The Bank was judged ‘Best Managed Bank in Sri Lanka by the prestigious Asian Banker Magazine while the Bank’s Managing Director/CEO, Jonathan Alles was conferred with the Asian Banker’ CEO Leadership Achievement’ award. Among its several accolades, HNB was declared ‘Sri Lanka’s Best Bank’ for 2019 by Euromoney Magazine for the third time, in addition to being ranked among the World Top 1000 Banks list compiled by the prestigious UK-based, Banker magazine, further strengthening its status as Sri Lanka’s pre-eminent private sector bank. Recently, HNB was recognised among the ‘Top 10 Most Admired Companies in Sri Lanka’ by the International Chamber of Commerce, Sri Lanka and the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA). HNB’s remarkable track record of excellence secured it the first place ranking ahead of all Sri Lankan banks included in the LMD Top 100 Club – a position which was evaluated based on its performance over the past 25 years.

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