Hatton National Bank (HNB) PLC last week launched the first Near Field Communication (NFC) enabled card, ‘HNB One’, with a view to strengthening the multi-channel banking strategy which the organization is pursuing.
According to Head of Payment Cards and Electronic Delivery Channels at HNB, Mangala Wickramasinghe, HNB One is a carefully thought-out strategic initiative to adopt NFC technology to provide the bank’s customers with more choice and convenience.
“This all-purpose card is the equivalent to carrying several cards and can also be used on Visa’s worldwide payment network. With HNB One, Hatton National Bank will lead the drive towards innovation and new technologies in Sri Lanka are banking industry,” Wickramasinghe noted.
A card which is designed to serve multiple purposes, HNB One can be used as an ATM card, debit or a shopping card and as an access control card in future once the infrastructure is in place. The card further enables its holders to access their savings and current accounts at HNB plus their prepaid account for fast check out payments.
Sony will be providing the NFC technology through their FeliCa contactless IC card technology, the market leader in the NFC industry. HNB was keen to select this technology due to its superior security features and wide range of applications.
“The technology used has never been compromised at any point, anywhere in the world. The bank’s first priority was providing a secure, safe and an authentic transaction platform for its customers,” said Wickramasinghe.
Addressing the launch, The Chief Operation Officer of HNB, Dilshan Rodrigo said, “HNB One is an all-in-one solution which relieves customers from carrying many cards, hence lighter on the purse. The transaction process is simpler with a quick ‘tap and go’ functionality of NFC cards. HNB has obtained approval from the Central Bank of Sri Lanka to embark on this project. Keeping in line with HNB’s strategy to develop the NFC infrastructure in Sri Lanka, the bank will also support payment card acquiring by replacing its extensive Point of Sale (POS) network with NFC-enabled machines for merchants in the near future.”
As its pilot project, HNB collaborated with Smart Metro in promoting e-ticketing for buses which will commence with long distance buses in the Southern Province, operating under the Matara Passenger Transport Company Ltd. Through the said initiative, card holders who opt to commute by buses operating under the Matara Passenger Transport Company will be granted the opportunity to make payments using the HNB One card, and the required infrastructure i.e. POS machines to facilitate such transactions will be engineered by Smart Metro. Bharti Airtel Lanka is the Connectivity Partner to HNB One.