Digital banking in Sri Lanka has a long way to go. This was a fact many of us learned during the curfew. Stuck in our homes, we were forced to rely on our debit/credit cards and online banking services to manage our finances. While several industries were unprepared for the disruption caused by the coronavirus, banks had already begun investing in their digital offerings. Since last year, Commercial Bank has been revamping its online banking services. The goal was to increase customer convenience by eliminating the need for visiting branches and bring all of its digital offerings under a single umbrella called ComBank Digital.
Powered by Fiserv, ComBank digital is described as an omnichannel banking platform. That means you now have three digital banking channels. A responsive web application, a native mobile app available on both iOS and Android, and a mobile WAP app. Having invested in the security of its digital platforms, Commercial Bank is now revamping the experience of using these platforms for its customers with ComBank digital.
Commercial Bank now has several digital platforms. All serving varying needs and offering different functionalities. These include its existing online banking website, a mobile app for Android and iOS, Flash for digital account opening and wealth management, and Q+ for payments with QR codes.
So if you’re a Commercial Bank customer, how exactly can you use it? You’ll first need to head over to the website and sign up for it. Thankfully, you don’t need to visit a branch. Commercial Bank is continuing the practice of allowing you to sign up online. All you need to do is self-register by entering your identification, account details, and the OTP sent to a registered mobile number.
Afterwards, you’ll be able to access the system and utilize the basic features of ComBank Digital. Shortly after, a representative from the bank will call you to verify your details and then you’ll be able to access all the features it has to offer. However, it should be noted that details like your current phone number should be in the bank’s records. If not then you’ll need to have these details updated first.
At a basic level, ComBank Digital allows you to check your account balance, view your transactions, and carry out fund transfers. The app also offers more detailed control over your finances, such as setting up savings objectives and templates for recurring payments. Additionally, you’ll find services such as opening Fixed Deposits and terminating lost credit/debit cards, which previously required either going to a branch or calling customer support. With these features and a modern interface, ComBank Digital is a progressive step forward by the bank. With this platform, the bank has made several services customers use regularly more accessible.
As we covered previously, a crucial barrier preventing some banking services from being offered digitally are the Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations in Sri Lanka. It’s for this reason that for the longest time you needed to visit a branch to open a bank account or apply for a loan. A digitised NIC system could pave the way forward to solve this issue. But that too requires us to first tackle complex challenges around cybersecurity and data protection.
The coronavirus pandemic may have forced many of us to adopt digital banking. But for the longest time, Sri Lanka has been a nation where cash is king. Should these regulations be relaxed, the bank believes it can be easier for businesses to adopt digital payments. In turn, accelerating the adoption of digital banking. Urban areas like Colombo, such a scenario could easily become a reality. Whereas, in rural areas, the pandemic has pointed out the vast gap in connectivity which is another challenge to be addressed.
None of these challenges can be solved overnight. Nor can they be solved by the banks alone. To make digital banking available for all requires many different stakeholders working together towards this common goal. At the end of the day, Commercial Bank’s efforts to solidify its digital offerings under a single platform with ComBank Digital is a positive step forward in the long journey for the digitalization of the banking system, making it readily accessible to all.