BOC Innovlab to Unleash Futuristic Solutions in Revolutionising Sri Lanka’s Digital Banking Sphere

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Bank of Ceylon recently launched BOC Innovlab with an aim of upgrading Sri Lanka’s financial services industry by enabling the Bank to unleash futuristic solutions for its customers by bringing in the best professionals in the industry and academics into a common platform. This initiative will provide a test ground to experiment new ideas till they are further developed, ready to be executed.

The ceremonial opening of the newly established BOC Innovlab recently took place with the patronage of the Bank’s Chairman Kanchana Ratwatte, the General Manager K.E.D. Sumanasiri, Additional General Manager / Chief Financial Officer W. P. Russel Fonseka and the participation of the Bank’s other key officials. BOC Innovlab which is expected to offer a range of new digital services to BOC customers is headed and guided by the Bank’s Deputy General Manager (Product & Banking Development) Ajith Karunarathne and Assistant General Manager (Product Development and Business Process Re-engineering Project) Suresh Perera.

As innovative financial technologies are increasingly becoming critical for the Banking sector, to remain on par with fast evolving market demands, BOC’s Innovlab will be setting the future path for upgrades in Sri Lanka’s financial services industry by re-energizing innovations in products and services while providing smarter banking experience. The Initiative is also a symbol of the innovative and digital culture in the Bank and the commitment.

With the establishment of Innovlab at BOC, It would become a focal point in the country’s financial services industry in accommodating collaborations among different stakeholders including Fintechs, Universities and other Technical Institutions in identifying and experimenting emerging technologies and business models. It would create a permanent platform for the dissemination of technological knowledge among professionals and academics, allowing them to form partnerships, leading to potential innovations.

Specifically, the Common Platform would grant the much-needed space for the experts to explore technology based innovations on new products/ processes, deliver innovations/ value added digital solutions, forecast customer demands and come up with solutions to existing problems with the use of data analytical tools. Ultimately, BOC customers stand to immensely benefit from such new products and services which is to be delivered through BOC’s own platforms or via third party platforms.

Over the years, BOC pioneered in bringing range of cutting-edge digital solutions to the customer which includes BOC Smart online banking, B-APP mobile banking SmartPay QR scan mobile app, Branch on Wheels, Smart Zone, BOC Digi, Smart Pass Book, SmartGen Digital account as well as facilities to open deposit accounts online and to apply for housing/personal loans online. BOC’s Innovlab aims to further enhance these services in bringing greater convenience and ease for BOC customers to conduct their daily banking transactions.

BOC believes Innovlab Hub would create potential pathways for the Bank to leapfrog its digital transformation drive and emerge even stronger in the challenging business environment. Moreover, it would also open pathways for more customers to reach bank seamlessly.  Overall, the initiative is expected to fuel the future growth of the country’s banking industry as a knowledge hub for the industry.

Bank of Ceylon has already experimented with a similar concept; InnovBank with an international symposium on innovative banking conducted in year 2020, under the theme ‘Innovative Banking in a Smart World’. Following the international symposium which was named also ‘InnovBank’, the Bank entered into partnerships with state universities for development of innovative products and some number of innovative products/processes are scheduled to be launched in near future.

Over the past 83 years, Bank of Ceylon continued to cement its position as the No.01 Bank in the country while serving the national interest, as reflected by numerous global and local accolades. Bank of Ceylon was yet again recognized among world’s top 1,000 banks by ‘’The Banker Magazine UK”. Despite various challenges, BOC maintains a strong balance sheet compromised of an asset base of over Rs.4 trillion and deposit base of over Rs.3 trillion in commanding its local peers.

Bank of Ceylon captured the No.1 Banking Brand in Sri Lanka for the 14th consecutive year in the “Brand Finance Lanka’s – Brand Annual” for the year 2022, while also becoming the sole Banking brand to surpass a brand value over Rs. 50 billion. With 2,000 touch points spread across the nation, BOC operates over 645 branches connected online, and an ATM/CDM/CRM network of over 1350 located in all 25 districts of the country.

In testimony to its unmatched service excellence, “SLIM-Kantar People’s Awards 2022” adjudged the Bank of Ceylon (BOC) as the “Best Service Provider of the year 2022” and “the Best Banking Service Provider of the year 2022” in the country, which were two prominent awards in the ceremony. Moreover, BOC has been instrumental in leading and shaping the country’s digital payment landscape. As a recognition for its contribution towards promoting digital inclusivity in banking, BOC was awarded the prestigious “Overall Gold Award for Excellence in Interbank Digital Payments” at the LankaPay Technnovation Awards 2022 organized by the Lanka Clear Pvt Ltd. Bank of Ceylon leads the trade finance and inward remittances market in serving the national interest. Its overseas presence consists of foreign branches in Chennai, Male, Hulhu-Male, Seychelles and a banking subsidiary in London as well as a strong affiliation with the international banking network developed over the years.