Pioneering the evolution of cashless and contactless payments in the tourism sector, Sri Lanka’s leading private sector bank HNB PLC, partnered with Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts to launch the LANKAQR facility for the renowned hospitality chain’s portfolio of restaurants.
Following increasingly rapid adoption from Sri Lanka’s tier-one merchants, Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts is also coming on-board to offer guests at the restaurants of the hotels: Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo and Cinnamon Grand Colombo with the convenience of contactless payments via QR codes. HNB DGM Retail & SME Banking Sanjay Wijemanne, HNB Head of Digital Business, Chammika Weerasinghe, HNB Senior Manager- Business Development- Piyakara Jayaratne, HNB Digital Pay Products Executive Ishan Karannagoda, HNB Lead - Product Management SOLO, Harold Elanco and the General Manager of Cinnamon Grand Colombo and Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo, John Keells Group Vice President, Kamal Munasinghe, Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts Vice President- Finance, Shanaka Silva and Cinnamon Grand Colombo Head of IT Shiran Tissera graced the ceremony held to launch the facility at Cinnamon Grand Colombo
“It is imperative that we continue embracing digital payments across all industries in Sri Lanka. The pandemic may have driven the initial conversion to QR based payments, but we are now seeing a new wave of customers who are using the facility for the convenience and reliability it offers across QR enabled platforms like HNB SOLO, which are gaining rapid traction and are a must-have among customers. Our robust tech infrastructure places us in a unique position to lead this expansion and we are delighted to enter the tourism sector with a partner as prestigious as Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts,” HNB DGM Retail & SME Banking Sanjay Wijemanne said.
Notably, customers have the option of completing a transaction by scanning the Dynamic QR code, a unique QR code generated for the transaction. This allows customers using an app linked with the LANKAQR initiative to make contactless purchases at stores by simply scanning the Dynamic QR, which appears on the display screen of the Point of Sale (PoS) machine.
The facility is also beneficial to merchants as the integration of HNB’s system with the merchant’s cash PoS results in real-time confirmation of the purchase credited to the merchant’s account for JustPay transactions. Additionally, the transaction fee that the merchants are levied for using the ‘LANKAQR’ platform under Just Pay transactions is significantly lower.
Moreover, the partnership will enable all Sri Lankans, including customers of other banks, to complete transactions seamlessly at Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts.
“The past two years have been a trying time for the tourism industry and the whole nation. But we are fortunate to finally see a gradual recovery take hold. In order to help the industry bounce back, we must be ready to change and adapt much more rapidly than ever before. The addition of digital payment solutions brings an added level of comfort, convenience and safety for our guests. We also hope that our launch of QR payments will add further momentum to the expansion of digital payments across the formal and informal tourism and hospitality sector, which will create even greater value for our guests. We look forward to working closely with HNB to leverage their tech expertise to make the lives of our customers easier and better,” Cinnamon Grand Colombo and Cinnamon Lakeside Colombo General Manager, John Keells Group Vice President, Kamal Munasinghe said.
The partnership also supports the CBSL Ratapurama LANKA QR campaign to ensure all QR code-based transactions are standardized and interoperable, facilitating faster, secure and low-cost digital payments to merchants.
Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts is a diverse chain of Hotels both in Sri Lanka and the Maldives. It is a member of John Keells Holdings PLC which is the largest listed conglomerate in Sri Lanka with interest in sectors such as Leisure, Transportation, Property, Consumer Food & Retail, Financial Services, Information Technology, Business Process Operations and Plantations.
With 254 customer centres across the country, HNB is one of Sri Lanka’s largest, most technologically innovative banks, having won local and global recognition for its efforts to drive forward a new paradigm in digital banking. Consolidating its reputation for banking excellence, HNB bagged the Best Retail Bank and Best SME Bank awards in the Banking category at the International Finance Awards 2021. The bank was also ranked among the World Top 1,000 Banks list compiled by the prestigious UK-based Banker Magazine for five consecutive years. HNB was also declared Best Sub-Custodian Bank in Sri Lanka at the Global Finance Awards 2020. HNB has a national rating of AA- (lka) by Fitch Ratings (Lanka) Ltd.