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Sri Lanka’s Central Bank seeks clarity on National Payment Platform

Sri Lanka’s Central Bank seeks clarity on National Payment Platform

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka’s Central Bank says they are still awaiting a response regarding concerns raised regarding the National Payment Platform (NPP) from ICTA. The CBSL requested more information about NPP when it was presented in 2016 and a request was made in order to gather details on system development, operation manuals, system security, compliance with system standards and the external system audit framework, the CB said issuing a statement. This request was made in an attempt to gather further knowledge regarding the NPP, so that CBSL could make an informed decision on its feasibility. However, there has been no response regarding these concerns from ICTA to date.

Therefore, CBSL is not in a position to comment on the viability of the NPP in the absence of a response from ICTA, as the concerns raised have an impact on customer, transaction and information security, it said. “We wish to explain that the NPP or any payment platform needs to be regulated as is done in other parts of the world, since they significantly impact the financial stability of a country,” “The regulator’s role is important to ensure that the platform and associated systems contain the required security Department of Payments and Settlements measures to protect the interests of the public and to maintain the stability of the financial system as a whole.” It has been also stated in the press that the NPP is primarily a platform for messaging which may include a payment request. However, CBSL wishes to emphasize that services such as payment messaging, will also fall under the scope of a payment transaction, and therefore be subject to regulation by CBSL.

Further, as the NPP constitutes an amalgamation of payments and settlement systems, it will inherently need to be under the regulation and supervision of CBSL. The CBSL is committed to the further development of payment systems in the country. It has no intention of hindering the promotion of digitization of the economy. It is important to highlight that under the regulatory framework of CBSL, Sri Lanka was the first country in the region to implement Real Time Gross Settlement Systems (RTGS) in 2003 and is far ahead of other neighbouring nations.