JCB International, the Tokyo-based credit card network, has formed a strategic partnership with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka to establish a co-branded payment card scheme to expand the reach of local bank-issued payment cards.

The partnership aims to enable Sri Lanka-based banks already participating in LankaPay, the country’s largest interbank payment network, to issue LankaPay-JCB co-branded cards that will be accepted globally through JCB’s international network and locally through LankaClear, the local payments infrastructure.

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It's the first time JCB cards will be issued in Sri Lanka, expanding opportunities for local banks to serve the increasing numbers of tourists visiting Sri Lanka from India with payment card options that have local ATM support, the release said.

“Our quest is to promote cost-effective and efficient electronic transactions with the primary objective of reducing cash-based (payments),” said Channa de Silva, LankaClear’s general manager and CEO, in the release.

JCB sees the partnership as an opportunity to expand its market share inside and outside of Sri Lanka.

“Sri Lanka is one of the most attractive travel destinations in the world…and accompanied with its stable economic growth, the number of Sri Lankans traveling outside the country is also bound to grow,” added Yuichiro Kadowaki, senior vice president of JCB.

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