Ingenico and DMSE join hands to bring a seamless payment experience to Sri Lanka
Ingenico Group, the global leader in seamless payment, has partnered with DMS Electronics (DMSE), a recognized payment solutions expert, to bring smart, trusted and secure solutions to the Sri Lankan market.
In an exclusive interview with Daily News, Robert Choo, Ingenico Asia Managing Director, Marc Fischer, Ingenico Asia Pacific Marketing Director, and Lal Chandranath, DMSE Managing Director, talked about the partnership.
Q: Why did Ingenico Group seek to expand its operations in Sri Lanka?.
Robert: We have been very successful in Europe, Latin America, Australia and China, but in the rest of Asia there is still room for improvement. A few years back Ingenico decided to refocus in Asia, and we have gradually gained market presence in several Asian countries since then.
We recognize the growth potential in Sri Lanka. We believe DMSE’s capacity and local expertise, together with Ingenico’s strong offering, will make a strategically strong partnership. As payment methods continue to evolve along with increasing penetration of smartphones and Internet access, Ingenico Group continues to extend its offering with innovative solutions such as mPOS and e-Commerce solutions. We offer secure, smart and seamless payment solutions whatever the channel: in-store, online and mobile. We believe close partnership with DMSE will help us to establish a strong foothold in Sri Lanka.
Q: Ingenico Group often speaks of “smart and seamless payment solutions.” Can you elaborate on that?
Marc: Payment systems have evolved rapidly for the past few years, and we need to get on top of this fast-moving space and bring smart, innovative payment solutions. Payment systems differ from one country to another, where one size does not fit all. Different verticals require different payment solutions to meet their objectives. Therefore, payment solutions should be smart and seamless.
To make this a reality, we need strong partners in each country. Ingenico Group’s aim of collaborating with strong partners is to empower our smart terminals not only with our software but with software from our partners.
Q: How does DMSE view the partnership with Ingenico Group?
Lal: DMSE has been in the payment space for well over 20 years. We were the first company to bring a POS Payment Terminal to Sri Lanka in 1992. The early constraint that banks had earlier with credit cards was to check the customer’s credit worthiness. Now with credit and debit cards in operation exceeding seven million; that is not a problem anymore.
Another area of expertise we have learnt was that banks would depend on a partner like DMSE to support their advancements. We are not only concentrating on POS terminals but we have the expertise in networking, software support and security. We have a strong reputation for service / support, which was a key reason for being chosen for this partnership as well.
In the last few years, there has been a consolidation of POS devices and repositioning of devices resulting in growth in POS terminal business with the increasing adoption of various card schemes like MasterCard, and Visa. At that point, we decided to partner with Ingenico Group. Ingenico is the largest POS supplier in the world and we constantly seek the best value for our customers. Although 95% of our customers are banks, we strive to ensure good end-user experiences. Ingenico’s best-in-class technology and strong global presence ensure that merchants can be paid promptly, efficiently and safely.
Q: Sri Lanka is a relative newcomer to mobile and electronic payments. How do you look at that point?
Marc: Sri Lanka is not yet as mature in modernized payments as Europe, the United States or Australia, but we established a foothold here by introducing our smart POS terminals. This is the first step. We will bring other value-added services to Sri Lanka eventually when the payment space is mature concerning e-payments and m-payments. We will continue to monitor the payment space and consumer trends to bring a robust multi-channel strategy.
Q: What are the key products that Ingenico Group will market in Sri Lanka?
Robert: Traditionally, most of the payment terminals were equipped with modem transactions and this has evolved into GPRS. In the near future, we would see transactions being done using 3G. I envisage that customers in Sri Lanka will be looking at 3G enabled terminals.
The other trend we see is the growth of mobile payment which will make payment a completely different experience via smartphones and other mobile devices. This will be the main stream of products that we will likely see in the Sri Lankan market over the next couple of years.
Nearly everyone has a smartphone now so there are so many opportunities for implementing mobile POS solutions in the market. As we move toward a cashless society, we need to address these points. Ingenico Group will apply its expertise in the Sri Lankan market, as we have done in other countries. All these solutions will be executed in a secure environment. Part of Ingenico’s success is not just delivering the solutions but delivering them in a secured manner.
We are planning a vertical progression in Sri Lanka starting with basic terminals. The initial phase will be to replace them with more technically-advanced terminals. New applications will be introduced in the country to facilitate loyalty card schemes and coupons, which could eventually apply to mobile POS systems, virtual wallets and so forth.
Q: What are the opportunities that Ingenico Group and DMSE can work on together?
Lal: The government’s current strategy of pushing tourism, leisure and retail sectors will drive payments to new heights. Ingenico Group and DMSE will be major players in that journey. Tourism is a key driver in Sri Lanka, and tourists will demand the same payment experience here that they enjoy in their home markets. Through collaboration and feedback, DMSE and Ingenico Group will transform Sri Lanka’s payment sector.
Marc: Sri Lanka is very open to tourism and that is a major leverage point we are working on. We strongly believe that some parts of the local payment culture should be developed. For instance, a facility like Dynamic Currency Conversion (DCC) is still not widespread enough in Sri Lanka. DCC means that when making a payment in a foreign currency, customers have the cost of a transaction converted to their local currency at the point of sale. This is common in many countries but in time, Sri Lanka would benefit from these methods and Ingenico Group hopes to provide solutions to accommodate such facilities.
Q: Do you think Ingenico Group’s presence in Sri Lanka will be productive?
Absolutely, yes. I am impressed with Sri Lanka’s infrastructure. There is great potential that Sri Lanka could bring to Ingenico Group and vice versa. With DMSE as a partner, we anticipate a great symbiosis between the two companies. We believe that we are the right choice for a payment solution provider because of other global expertise that we could bring to the local market.
From Left – DMS Electronics (Pvt) Ltd Managing Director T L Chandranath, Ingenico Asia Pacific Marketing Director Marc Fischer and Ingenico for South East Asia Managing Director Robert Choo