Pomelo Pay partners with Dialog Axiata to digitalise payments for SMEs in Sri Lanka
Digital payments company Pomelo Pay (Pomelo) announced a partnership with Dialog Axiata PLC (Dialog), Sri Lanka’s premier connectivity provider, to consolidate and provide an enhanced payment platform for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Sri Lanka, helping them to digitalise and accept payments.
The partnership is in line with Pomelo’s plans to expand its global presence in Asia and Europe and will consolidate about 80,000 SME merchants across Dialog’s multiple platforms, including ezCash into a common payment platform Genie. These merchants will be able to send and receive payments securely and seamlessly via QR codes and track all their transactions within the same payment interface via their mobile or online.
This programme to empower SMEs underpins Dialog’s ambition to champion financial inclusion for over 1 million businesses in Sri Lanka. SMEs in Sri Lanka are the backbone of the economy and account for more than 75% of the total number of enterprises attributing to 45% employment and 52% of the country’s gross domestic production (GDP).
Sri Lanka is also home to a burgeoning digital economy estimated at USD3.47 billion, or about 4.37% of GDP as of October 2021. Given Sri Lanka’s move to encourage more cashless transactions, the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) introduced LANKAQR in October 2020 as a way for merchants, particularly SMEs, to initiate and accept payments using mobile devices. At the end of the third quarter of 2021, 273,044 merchants have adopted LANKAQR for their businesses.
Pomelo’s entry into Sri Lanka is timely, where the firm’s enhanced payment platform will integrate with the national LANKAQR standard which will allow Dialog to offer its merchants a low cost and seamless digital payment methods to opt for over traditional Point-of-Sales (POS) terminals which requires them to commit to recurring fees. The country is home to 88,871 POS terminals currently in use at the end of the third quarter of 2021.
This shift in payment method will eventually allow merchants to become e-commerce ready, digitalise with ease and offer more payment options, including LANKAQR, to their customers.
Vincent Choi, CEO of Pomelo said, “SMEs in South and Southeast Asia face massive challenges in digitalising and accepting digital payments, and we believe that Pomelo can aid growth and adoption in these markets. We are honoured to collaborate with Dialog in their mission to champion financial inclusion in Sri Lanka by empowering over one million merchants with solutions to digitalise, as the country works towards a cashless society.”
Commenting on this partnership, Renuka Fernando, Group Chief Digital Services Officer of Dialog Axiata PLC added, “We are excited to partner with Pomelo who has expertise in providing seamless and intuitive solutions to merchants globally. As Sri Lanka works towards a cashless society, Dialog is committed to empower and enrich Sri Lankan lives and businesses with accessible, inclusive and convenient digital solutions.”