CARDS & PAYMENTS | Cesar Tordesillas, India

Sri Lanka's ComBank links ATMs to China UnionPay

The more than 500 ATM terminals in Sri Lanka of the Commercial Bank of Ceylon can now be utilized by holders of UnionPay credit and debit cards.


A 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.

“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 Commercial Bank Card Centre .

“The partnership between UnionPay and Commercial Bank also has the potential to evolve further to offer wider services to visitors in the future,” Suraweera said.

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 $, the currency previously used for dealings with businesses in China.

Commercial Bank has also enabled customers maintaining Non Resident Foreign Currency accounts at the bank to hold their funds in Yuan if they wish to do so.

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