The Next 100 Global Companies to watch, highlights some of the most exciting, innovative, and promising businesses from around the world. At the 2021 Next 100 Global Awards, LOLC Finance was named the Finance Company for Credit Cards. The Next 100 Global Companies list recognizes companies at the forefront whose strategies, achievements, dedication, and leadership of those who demonstrate outstanding achievement and are committed to delivering the products clients need and the results clients want, act as a catalyst for the industry.
A wide range of criteria has been used for the selection of these companies worldwide, including leadership and team experience, quality and track record, industry footprint - regional / global, social contribution and economic impact, level of expertise, growth rate, technological advantages, customer response and engagement, disruptiveness of the solution in its respective markets and impact on their respective industry.
Taking Sri Lanka’s largest segment on a journey towards a cashless world, LOLC Finance - Sri Lanka’s largest Non-Banking Financial Institution (NBFI) launched its Credit Card operations in late 2018. Launched in partnership with MasterCard™, the main aim of the Card proposition was to enhance the value added services offered to existing customers. LOLC Finance has issued eight types of cards catering to diverse customer segments and needs. A significant, 70,000 cards have been issued at the end of three years, since the first series of cards were issued, despite unprecedented systematic shocks the industry encountered.
In early 2021, LOLC Finance introduced a new Credit Card named, SAVI which is exclusively designed to the Pensioners and State sector employees across Sri Lanka. The card was introduced as a part of LOLC Finance’s overall digitisation strategy, which is in line with the Central Bank’s ‘2020 - Year of Digital Transactions’ plan, to promote and create awareness on digital payments throughout the country. SAVI was awarded the “best new credit card in Sri Lanka for 2021” by the Global Banking and Finance Review.
Speaking about the global recognition, Mr. Hasala Thilakaratne, Head of SME and Consumer Business of LOLC Finance PLC said, “Despite the challenging operating environment which was experienced throughout 2020 and 2021, the Credit Cards unit successfully achieved a portfolio of over Rs. 2.2 Bn. One of the key factors for this impressive performance was the continued investment and drive towards introducing new products and upgrading the existing credit card features and investing in digital technologies, to be ahead of the curve. The introduction of continuous value additions and customer benefits played a major role in winning such global recognition and I believe that we are on the right track as our customer centric approach is reason behind our success”.
Chief Manager, Business Development of LOLC Finance Credit Cards, Mr. Senal Tharanga added, “First and foremost, I am extremely thankful for our staff for their dedication and hard work, despite the many setbacks and challenges we experienced amidst a global pandemic. An online credit card application was launched for customers to apply for a credit card even during travel restrictions, purely as an online application or through a QR scan. In keeping with our customer-oriented approach, cardholders were given an extension on payments and granted fee waivers based on individual needs across the country, depending on which areas were most affected by the pandemic.
LOLC Finance offers Credit Card products that cater to all the segments in the income pyramid, with a clear positioning strategy, ensuring the desired financial solutions by those respective segments. Leveraging on the momentum gained during the year despite challenges, the future plans of the LOLC Finance Credit Cards division entail automating processing, with a special focus on boosting online data capturing and integration with robotic process automation processes for greater efficiency and better customer service. There are also a series of products in the pipeline to cater to the niche markets. The recently launched co-branded card with Commercial Leasing & Finance PLC, which is already generating high volumes through their captive business base, enables CLC to offer the card as a value added product. This is the first time that a co-branded product with another financial institution in the country was introduced to reach diversified market segments using multiple channels.
LOLC Finance is the country’s largest NBFI with the largest Fixed Deposit and Savings Deposit base among the Registered Finance Companies of Sri Lanka. It is the flagship finance company of the LOLC Group, that offers carefully tailored, innovative financial solutions that includes, the maintenance of Savings and Term Deposit Accounts in Sri Lankan Rupees and Foreign Currency, Inward Worker Remittances, issue of Mastercard Credit Cards, Auto and SME Finance, Working Capital and Alternate Financial Services. LOLC Finance was one of the first NBFIs that received the mandate to introduce Foreign Currency Savings accounts and the first NBFI to register for SWIFT transactions in Sri Lanka. In the internet and mobile banking landscape, the company became one of the first NBFIs to connect with the CEFTS. LOLC Finance is rated (SL) A (Stable) by ICRA Lanka Limited and is licensed by the Monetary Board of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.
Hasala Thilakaratne, Head of SME and Consumer Business of LOLC Finance PLC
Senal Tharanga, Chief Manager, Business Development of LOLC Finance Credit Cards