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Latest innovation allows Apple Watch owners to view their bank balances and accept payment requests from the screens on their wrists
The Commercial Bank of Ceylon has scaled new heights in digital innovation, becoming the first bank in Sri Lanka to take banking to the realm of wearable technology.
The Bank’s and the country’s first “wearable banking” product was achieved with the integration of access to, and select features of, the Bank’s ‘Flash’ Digital Account with Apple Watch in collaboration with Digital Payment Services Pvt Ltd.
Flash account holders who own Apple watches linked to iPhones can now check their account balances and check payment requests and bill sharing requests from the smartwatches on their wrists without reaching for their phones, the Bank said.
“We are excited about this latest innovation because it is the first step in a stimulating new journey of infinite possibilities,” Commercial Bank Managing Director/CEO Mr Sanath Manatunge said. “Smartwatches are no longer a gimmick of the so-called tech nerds. They are playing a growing role in enhancing convenience for a significant customer segment, which we expect to grow substantially in the years ahead. As a leader in digital banking, Commercial Bank is proud to introduce another breakthrough banking solution in the form of wearable banking.”
While the first step of this initiative focuses on enabling account balance view and accepting fund transfer requests, the Bank is already exploring the possibility of enabling additional features such as bill payments and own account transfers that will significantly enhance the functionality of wearable banking, Mr Manatunge added.
Flash users who own Apple watches can install the Flash app to their watches via their iPhones, creating a shortcut to the app on the list of apps accessible via their watches. They can thereafter view their account balances on the watch screen and will receive pop-up notifications on their watches whenever a payment request is received by their Flash accounts.
Adjudged the ‘Digital Banking Initiative of the Year’ in Sri Lanka at the 2021 Asian Banking and Finance (ABF) awards, Commercial Bank’s Flash Digital Banking App is a comprehensive digital banking tool that provides financial services required to manage the lifestyle of a customer across aspects such as daily living and utility expenses, budgeting, saving, financing, eCommerce, environmental awareness, and investments. It enables customers to enjoy a complete suite of financial services and wealth management tools in one seamless application.
The importance accorded to the app is reflected in its having its own dedicated website – www.flashbank.lk
In 2020, ComBank Flash was upgraded with revolutionary features never-before-seen in the market. These included ‘Save the Environment’ – a feature which promotes an understanding of the social carbon footprint of consumption by assessing each transaction a user carries out via the app using a carbon footprint calculator that is integrated with the UN-approved Environment Impact Index for financial transactions; and the ‘Advanced Budgeting’ tab which functions as a personal financial management tool that enables tracking of spending with the detailed categorisation of expenses.
The app is equipped with a Quick Response (QR) Payment module that enables users to scan a LANKAQR code of any merchant to make payments directly from their accounts to the merchant for purchases. It is also integrated with the PickMe app QR and enables customers to add any bank account to top up Flash and make payments via the ‘JustPay’ feature. Additionally, the app is equipped with a ‘Flash Finance SPACE’ function that generates Credit Cards, Personal Loans, Home Loans, Leasing, and Education Loan requests.
Sri Lanka’s first 100% carbon neutral bank, the first Sri Lankan bank to be listed among the Top 1000 Banks of the World and the only Sri Lankan bank to be so listed for 12 years consecutively, Commercial Bank operates a network of 268 branches and 940 automated machines in Sri Lanka. Commercial Bank is the largest lender to Sri Lanka’s SME sector and is a leader in digital innovation in the country’s Banking sector. The Bank’s overseas operations encompass Bangladesh, where the Bank operates 19 outlets; Myanmar, where it has a Microfinance company in Nay Pyi Taw; and the Maldives, where the Bank has a fully-fledged Tier I Bank with a majority stake.