Feb 10, Colombo: Sri Lanka's fast-growing startup, PAYable revolutionized cashless mobile payments in 2016, when it first entered the market with a mission to empower Sri Lanka's micro, small and medium enterprises with the ability to accept electronic payments at a very low cost.
The company recently partnered with VISA Inc. on an island wide promotion, signing on an impressive 2000 merchants over a period of two months.
In just over a year, the company helped the number of merchants accepting card payments in Sri Lanka grow by 30% and directly facilitated transactions in excess of Rs 1.5 Billion. In December 2017 PAYable marked a record month, with transaction volumes doubling to 2000 a day.
The VISA promotion was conducted in three stages, covering Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Kandy, Gampaha, Matara, Ratnapura, Kurunegala, Jaffna and Nuwara Eliya. The first two stages saw the PAYable sales team visit a total of 41 towns, while another 21 towns were covered in the Nuwara Eliya stage of the promotion.
The team spoke to merchants, explaining the benefits of accepting cashless payments and how the ability to pay via credit and debit cards benefits customers. The promo was also designed to highlight PAYable's low-cost model and easily usable interface which is available in English, Sinhala and Tamil and usable anywhere in Sri Lanka.
The merchants were resoundingly positive in their feedback, noting that both Sri Lankans and tourists now prefer to make their payments via card. For merchants that work seasonally, PAYable's lack of monthly charges made it a favourable option. Moreover, the inbuilt automatic reconciliation feature on PAYable eliminates the worry of maintaining hard copies of receipts as all the transactions are recorded on the application.
"Our first partnership with VISA was a definite success and we are excited about our plans to empower more merchants around Sri Lanka in the second quarter of 2018," said Yohan Wijesiriwardane, CEO and Co-founder, PAYable. "The interest we saw around the country when we ran the promotion was amazing and we are extremely grateful to VISA for making it possible for us to execute a promotion of this calibre and look forward to more joint projects going forward."
Anthony Watson, Visa's Country Manager for Sri Lanka and Maldives, noted that the promotion's success has set the course for more partnerships in the future. "Findings from Visa's recent payment attitude survey in Sri Lanka revealed that one out of two Sri Lankans are keen to adopt a form of digital payment solutions. This clearly validates the growing appetite for cashless payments in Sri Lanka. The high number of new merchants attained by the PAYable team in the first two months further reinforces the potential for digital payments and cards in particular across Sri Lanka in times to come."