In a fast paced world where people with busy lives have little time to spare, time has become everyone’s most valuable commodity. One reason an increasing number of people have begun to use online service providers; all in a continuing attempt to avoid wasting time on the road. Pan Asia Bank which is Committed to understanding customer needs and providing the latest in banking technology and innovation now provides customers with a host of secure, convenient internet and mobile banking solutions specially designed to make the lives of their customers easier. Mr. Gerald Wanigaratne, Head of IT at Pan Asia Bank, spoke with us about the subject.
In an era when most banks offer customers internet banking facilities, what makes Pan Asia Bank stand out?
Yes. It’s true that almost every bank in Sri Lanka offers internet banking facilities, but we wanted to offer customers something other banks did not. That’s why, in March 2017 we integrated a number of breakthrough services into our system so that anyone using our services would immediately feel a comfortable difference.
Can you elaborate on these differences?
Internet banking is meant to introduce convenience to customers, therefore we thought if we require them to visit one of our branches and fill in tedious forms, we will be failing the customers’ expectations in the first place. So we eliminated the forms and used the Debit card and the PIN that we issue to all our customers in order to provide a secure self service method of enrolling for our Internet banking service from the comfort of their own homes.
What benefits can customers enjoy through internet banking?
Customers can pay all Telco, Water, Electricity, Insurance premiums and over 80 other bills & payments without standing in queues or expending time, energy and money on the road. They can use their internet or mobile phone to complete their banking transactions while in office, at home or even while travelling by car or bus. They can also pay their local government taxes online and transfer money real time to almost any bank in Sri Lanka through the CEFTS facilities. We are committed to provide the best internet banking experience to our customers and are currently partnering with leading Telco companies, service providers and Lanka Pay to strengthen our online facilities still further in the future.
What are your views on the high fees customers have to pay for internet banking?
I know some organizations charge an annual fee and registration fee for internet banking. At Pan Asia Bank we consider internet banking facility as a service to be offered free to all our customers.
What are the other ways in which internet banking can make life easier?
Well, say you get two phone bills, an electricity bill and a water bill each month. You know average monthly cost for each of these bills is every month. So you can add all these payments to a template in our internet banking bill payment facility and pay all these bills with just one touch of a button free of charge.
Similarly, if you’re renovating your house, and need to pay your workmen, you can use our CEFTS facility to credit the day’s wages directly into their accounts in any other bank. They will also receive an SMS from Pan Asia Bank once the money is transferred and you don’t have to leave office early or stop whatever you’re doing and hurry home. It’s a very safe, secure and convenient method of banking.
What steps have been taken to safeguard the interests of your internet banking customers?
We have currently implemented several security protocols and are currently developing a mobile app that can utilize biometrics such as fingerprint recognition, iris scan technology and facial recognition technology on Samsung and Apple phones to provide an additional level of security.
What is the difference between internet and mobile banking?
You need a personal computer, laptop or active internet browser on your mobile for internet banking. Mobile banking lets you access these same internet banking services and features through your mobile. You just have to visit the Google Play Store or Apple App Store and download the mobile banking app on to your phone. It’s a matter of customer preference and convenience really, since both internet banking and mobile banking have been designed as easy to use, customer friendly facilities.
What’s the current level of customer interest in this facility. What message would you give your internet banking customers?
Internet banking is a rapidly growing phenomenon. Especially with the younger generation who prefer online and technology driven innovations. It takes time for anything new to become popular, but with the steps virtually every bank in Sri Lanka is taking to popularize, familiarize and promote this facility, internet banking will undoubtedly become the preferred mode of banking in the future. Pan Asia Bank will continue to introduce exciting new innovations both to our internet banking facility and our island wide network of branches. We invite customers to visit our website for an online experience or if preferred any of our island wide network of branches for a personalised banking experience from “The understanding bank”.