Impressionistic photo of PayPal sponsored SSC cricketer by Mafaz.
In two words, the Central Bank. Out of fear of money laundering or whatever, they aren’t taking the simple steps to enable Sri Lankan businesses to compete online. Seriously, there is no efficient or simple payment gateway. The ones the banks do are all closed, ugly and actually insecure. Other international suppliers like 2Checkout or MoneyBookers are not nearly as simple. I’m not saying PayPal is great, but it’s good. The Central Bank really needs to get it together.
Yesterday at Refresh Colombo, someone (let him remain anon here at least) from a bank said that PayPal has been trying to get into SL but the Central Bank is holding it back, essentially for regulatory reasons. In fact, Mafaz sent me the photo above of PayPal sponsoring the SSC cricket club. He chose to go macro on the chain link fence cause he’s artistic, but you can kinda see.
Another major thing the Central Bank is sitting on is mobile payments, right now you have to be a bank to process payments online, but the banks are not smart or fast enough. Telcos kinda do it, but under the radar, all because the Central Bank and regulations are getting in the way.
Now, while I understand the Central Banks concerns and need to ‘watch’ transactions dozens of other countries have sorta figured this out and allowed their citizen to conduct international internet business. Seriously, what’s stopping you guys? I will fill out whatever form, wear an ankle bracelet, even sign over my first born child to be able to be able to earn money relatively painlessly online. Same thing for access to income from Google and Apple App Stores.
I dunno about the latters, but on PayPal, the Central Bank is definitely holding us back. Central Bank Governor Cabraal is speaking at some forum on April
6th 5th I think. I’m gonna ask.