A shortage of foreign currency notes especially United States Dollars has inconvenienced many outbound travellers who plan to travel particularly during this holiday season.
Institutions that are authorized to issue foreign currency such as banks are constrained by their constant inability to cater to the demands of their customers. Even though, international travellers are encouraged to use credit and debit cards and depend on internet banking, most of them prefer to carry sufficient hard currency in notes for ad hoc and street purchases. Some have an aversion towards credit cards in foreign countries due to internet frauds.
According, to analysts and insiders in the banking sector, the foreign currency is predominantly a migratory commodity, in that, whatever notes that are brought by inbound travellers into Sri Lanka, and exchanged for local currency are perhaps, the main source that service the needs of the outbound travellers.
According to them this single channel movement is a classic textbook case of supply and demand.
The influx from the inbound travellers is not large enough to satisfy the needs of the people who plan travel out of the country in a single day. However, this is a plus mark of the esteem for Sri Lanka’s reliable and widely proliferated internet banking network that encourages many foreigners to transact mainly through credit cards and depend less on currency notes.