Currency/ Payments Management Policy

The Central Bank took measures to ensure a smooth flow of currency required by the economy during the lockdown period. These measures allowed the general public to fulfil their currency requirements through bank branches and automated teller machines (ATMs) even during the curfew periods. The Central Bank also ensured the uninterrupted operation of payments and settlements systems for both rupee and foreign currency transactions needed by the economy and the financial system during the pandemic. Several electronic modes of payments were actively promoted and facilitated, enhancing convenience to the general public to effect transactions.



 17 March 2020  Increased the ceiling of Rs 500 million on emergency cash withdrawal and relaxed two emergency cash withdrawals limit per month (per bank) by LCBs until 15 May 2020 to meet the public demand for cash during lockdown.
• Following actions were taken to facilitate customers to register for online transactions during the period with travel restrictions within the country due to COVID - 19 outbreak;
01 April 2020 Increased the maximum per transaction value limit from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 25,000 for mobile app based transactions carried out through JustPay payment solution of LankaClear (Pvt) Ltd.
30 March 2020 In order to facilitate transactions of e-money account holders, approval was granted to increase the e-money wallet limit from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 25,000 during this period temporarily.
26 March 2020 Financial institutions were allowed to open wallet or wallet facilitation accounts by digitally fulfilling know your customer (KYC) requirements. However financial institutions were instructed to physically verify the KYC details subsequently.
20 March 2020 Instructions were issued to Financial Institutions to waive off registration fees and charges for providing online banking services and to facilitate existing customers to register for online banking products without having to physically present themselves at bank branches for registration.
• Following approvals were granted to facilitate the public to access their funds:
08 June 2020 Online payments by customers to government and other institutions through the LankaPay Online Payment Platform were further enabled through increasing the maximum per transaction value limit.
12 May 2020 Waived off the service charge on currency notes deposits (serviceable currency notes) by LCBs for three months period from 01 April 2020 to 30 June 2020 considering the pandemic situation.
10 April 2020 Enhanced limits applicable for merchants of a mobile phone based e-money system in order to facilitate more digital transactions during the period.