Thursday, 2 December 2021

People’s Bank attracted more than one million digital customers

5 min read

By The Asian Banker

People’s Bank capitalised on the opportunity that was created amid the pandemic by accelerating digital transformation which attracted one million customers. The bank saw 85% of the conventional transactions shifted to digital platforms.

  • People’s Bank onboarded one million digital customers in the country
  • People’s Bank invested $7.5 million to boost digital transformation
  • People’s Bank has the highest profit after tax growth of 9.66% YoY

Singapore, 3 June 2021 – People’s Bank was recognised as the Best Digital Bank in Sri Lanka at The Asian Banker International Excellence in Retail Financial Services Awards 2021.

People’s Bank, Commercial Bank of Ceylon (CBC), and National Development Bank (NDB) were the finalists for the Best Digital Bank in Sri Lanka award. People's Bank has the widest digital footprint among its peers. It gained traction in digital onboarding and selling personal loans digitally.

Digital User: People’s Bank onboarded one million digital customers in the country

People’s Bank has one million digital customers and over 85% of the bank’s conventional banking transactions were conducted through digital channels. Its People’s Wave app reported 30,000 monthly average downloads and around 800,000 financial transactions are conducted monthly using this app. More than 39,000 merchants registered with the bank’s quick response (QR) payment facility. 

NDB made concerted efforts to pursue accelerated growth in targeted segments. Its digital strategy has driven customer-centric innovation and operational agility. CBC made initiatives in light of its digital roadmap that prioritises redesigning conventional banking processes.

Digital Scope and Strategy: People’s Bank invested $7.5 million to boost digital transformation

People’s Bank built several digital infrastructure and solutions to improve customer experience as the pandemic accelerated the shift to online banking. The bank invested $7.5 million for technology to build a single integrated banking system that connects all functions and processes. The bank pioneered the self-banking unit (SBU) in the country, a physical infrastructure equipped with ATMs, cash deposit machines (CDMs), and kiosks. The customer transactions at branches were reduced significantly, with approximately 80% of branch counter transactions conducted via SBU. The bank established 244 SBUs island-wide with a reported $282 million worth of monthly transactions through ATMs and $145 million in CDMs as of December 2020. 

NDB introduced several digital initiatives for its banking services such as cards, payments, online transactions, and fund transfers and has increased digital adoption in its banking system. Several initiatives were launched to strengthen the digital offerings for its customers.

Financial Performance: People’s Bank has the highest profit after tax growth of 9.66% YoY

People’s Bank’s profit after tax rose by 9.66% year-on-year (YoY), the highest growth among its peers. The gross revenue of NDB registered a modest growth while that of CBC slightly dipped. 2020 was a challenging year for Sri Lankan banks due to the pandemic. People’s Bank still managed to maintain its strong financials with the lowest cost-to-income ratio (CIR) of 54.3%. Both NDB and CBC have seen a higher CIR compared to the previous year. 

People’s Bank had the largest retail customer base of more than 14 million. The bank also reported more than one million mobile banking app downloads and a 12.7% YoY increase in internet and mobile banking customers.

About The Asian Banker 

The Asian Banker is the region’s most authoritative provider of strategic business intelligence to the financial services community. The global research company has offices in Singapore, Malaysia, Manila, Hong Kong, Beijing and Dubai, as well as representatives in London, New York and San Francisco. It has a business model that revolves around three core business lines: publications, research services and forums. The company’s website is

You may visit the Excellence in Retail Financial Services page at 

For further information on the collaterals for winning banks, please contact:

Mobasher Zein Kazmi

Head of Research

The Asian Banker

Tel: (+61) 452 514 145



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