PayMate, a KPCB & Sherpalo funded mobile payments company, has tied up with Bank of Ceylon (BOC) to launch mobile payment and banking solutions in Sri Lanka, allowing the bank’s six million customers to pay bills, transfer funds, inquire about their balance and make their monthly electricity, water and telephone bill payments via SMS. It’s competitor mChek also has presence in the island nation: Sri Lankan private sector bank NDB Bank and telco Dialog Telekom had launched mChek‘s mobile payment solution back in August 2007.
Customers only need to do a one time registration with the bank on which they receive a 4-digit PayMate PIN. After sending a keyword message for the kind of transaction that they wish to execute, to a shortcode, they receive a dynamic 3-digit alpha code following checking and validating the the request from the registered mobile number with the merchant, by PayMate. The customer then replies with the 3 digit alpha code and PIN and the transaction is completed with a confirmation sent to the customer. Sounds painful and complicated, right?
Paymate has previously gone beyond India’s borders: in December 2008 PayMate had launched similar mobile payment services in Nepal through a local representative PayBill, which partnered with Nepals largest private bank Everest Bank and Nepal Telecom, the countrys largest telco.