The Central Bank of Sri Lanka is soliciting public comment on guidelines it has drafted for mobile-payment systems, an official from the bank tells PaymentsSource.The bank’s director of payments and settlements is accepting comments through Oct. 18, according to the official. “Our aim is to ensure safety and effectiveness of mobile-payment schemes,” he says. Under the draft guidelines, the central bank will allow mobile payments in Sri Lanka only through licensed banks, registered finance companies and custodian account-based systems operated by nonbank service providers. Banks and financial institutions would be allowed to offer mobile-payments services to their accountholders, which would allow customers to operate their accounts via their mobile phone. Under the custodian account-based system, mobile operators may open e-money accounts for customers and issue e-money in exchange for actual money from customers, according to the guidelines.The central bank would allow mobile-payment services to be conducted only in Sri Lanka rupees and only for domestic transactions, and providers must route all foreign inward remittances to mobile accounts through the custodian banks and credit them in rupees. The draft rules also would require mobile-payments providers to report any suspicious transactions based on the guidelines of the central bank’s Financial Intelligence Unit. The draft also requires providers to use security measures to prevent criminal activity while using Near Field Communication-based mobile-payment systems.

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