What is the procedure of opening Personal Foreign Currency Accounts (PFCA) at People’s Bank of Sri Lanka and applying for Debit Cards for tourists from Russia?

1) Email the dully filled Account opening forms which can be downloaded from https://www.srilankaembassy.ru/en/tourism/banking-cooperation/downloads along with a passport copy of the customer to the People’s Bank via This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  . Further, please go to the Google Form link provided therein and complete it with the customer information.

People’s Bank Contact details;

Manager-Foreign Currency Accounts Dept.

People’s Bank

Overseas Customer Services

Colombo 10, Sri Lanka

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tel: 00947071750294 (WhatsApp)

Landline: 0094112332745, 0094115338459



2) When the customer reaches NIIB for account opening they can hand over the dully filled account opening forms along with their passport copies to NIIB and NIIB will email the same to People’s Bank. NIIB will provide if any assistance needed for filling the forms. Also, please go to the Google Form link provided in the Embassy Website and complete it with the customer information. Click here

3) Customer must fill in the Google Form, so that necessary details about the arrival time to Sri Lanka could be traced for Debit Card distribution. Hence, tourists are strictly instructed to fill out the said Google sheet accurately before the arrival. 

4) Know Your Customer (KYC) will be done through WhatsApp by the Bank

5) The details of the Account opening will be sent to customers via email. If the customer wishes to obtain a Debit Card, the customer should fill in/tick the relevant section of the Account opening form


What are the list of documents required for opening PFCA and applying for Debit Cards?

  • Foreign Currency Account opening  application
  • Mobile number, Email registration Form
  • Passport copy (Bio page)

(The request for a Debit Card, Internet Banking and E-statement are  included in the above application for customers to request)


How much time will it take to open Accounts, issue cards and the way of notifying tourists of it is being processed and provision Account details for transferring funds from Russia?

1) For seamless processing, it is recommended that the tourists submit their Account opening application form at least 2-3 weeks prior to their visit.

2) An email will be sent to the customer along with the Account details individually. I.e. Account Name/ Number and SWIFT Code and other relevant details for the fund transfer once the PFCA is opened. 

3) If the customer had requested online banking facility in the application, the online banking will be activated at the Account opening. The customer can check online the remittances credited to his/her Account through Bank’s digital platforms [People’s Net/ People’s Wave App or People’s Pay App). The customer has to Self Register through the links provided in the email sent by the Bank


Once the PFCA is opened at People’s Bank of Sri Lanka, how can the transfer of fund be made to Sri Lanka?

1) Once the Account details are received from People’s Bank of Sri Lanka via email, the customers will have to visit the head office and its branches of National Investment Industrial Bank of Russia (NIIB) and open a Current Account in Ruble or any other designated foreign currency, in order to make remittances to Sri Lanka without any intermediary banks.  

The contact details of the NIIB of Russia are as follows.

Ms. Alevtina Belikova

Head of Customer Service Dept.

TP: +74957862171

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2) The Account opening application and necessary documents will be provided by the NIIB up on the visit in person.

3) Having opened an Account at NIIB, the tourist could remit funds to the Account opened at the People’s Bank in Sri Lanka using online banking service or submitting a payment order to the NIIB. 

3) NIIB of Russia will deliver a personalized service to each customer with more attractive charges to remit funds to the said Account opened at People’s Bank.


How can the Debit Cards be collected by the tourists and what is the procedure for activating the cards?

1) For the customers arriving in Sri Lanka on direct flights (Aeroflot and Azur Air), they can collect activated Debit Cards from the People’s Bank counter at the Airport.

2)Debit Card will be made available for collection for customers coming in Aeroflot/Azur Air, only  for those who have completed the above Google Form

3) For those who are travelling via transits, upon landing Sri Lanka, they can visit a Branch of People’s Bank and request to issue a Debit Card.


How can the internet banking facility be activated and will the customers get SMS and email notifications for transactions? 

1) Internet banking facility can be made available via a self-registration and the instruction email will be send to the customer by the bank. The relevant weblinks will be available in the email sent by People’s Bank.

2) SMS, Email notifications will be received by customers if roaming facility is activated with the given mobile number.

3) Customer’s phone number and Email will be registered at the account opening. Customer must provide a valid email address to receive the OTP without any issue in the event of any mobile network failure. OTP should never be disclosed to anyone.


Will the cards be personalized and what will be its validity period?

1) The cards will not be personalized and validity period of the card is 5 years from the card issuing date.

2) It is not permitted to allow the cards to be used by third parties.


What type of foreign currency Accounts will be opened for tourists from Russia?

1) Accounts can be opened in any designated Currency in Sri Lanka. (USD/ EUR/GBP/AUD/CHF/JPY/CNY/NOK/NZD/CAD)

We suggest USD and EUR for tourists from Russia.


What are the rules for using the card on the territory of Sri Lanka: limits for cash withdrawals and non-cash payments using the cards?


1) ATM Cash Withdrawals - LKR 200,000/- per day (these limits can be extended with approvals)

2) Non Cash payments/POS – LKR 300,000/- per day. (these limits can be extended with approvals)

3) Any Amount can be withdrawn in LKR from over the counter at any branch of People’s Bank


What is the possibility and procedure for transferring the unused balance of funds back to Russia? What charges apply?

1) Option 1 – Before the departure from Sri Lanka the customer can close the Account and withdraw the funds in foreign currency at the Account opening branch. Else, the customer could withdraw in LKR over the counter or using ATMs and get it converted into foreign currency from the banks located at the airport.

2) Option 2- If the customer intends to maintain the Account furthermore, can keep the minimum balance (USD 50/- or equivalent in any other currency) and withdraw the rest of the funds in LKR or Foreign Currency.

3) Option 3 – An Outward Telegraphic Transfer (TT) could be made to the name of the same Account holder at the request of the customer (Outward TT charges will be applied)

4) If there are no debit transactions for two years, the account will be transferred to Dormant category

5) When transferring outwards via TT, 0.125% of the transfer amount (Minimum LKR 1000/- , maximum LKR 5000/-) + SWIFT charges LKR 1500/-

(All these charges are subject to change without notice)


Intermediary & beneficiary bank charges will apply.


What are the rules for closing the Accounts for Russian tourists at People's Bank

The customer should submit a written request with the signature to the branch where the account is maintained. In case the customer is unable to submit the documents to the particular branch, he/she can hand it over to any branch of People’s Bank, enabling the request to be sent to Overseas Customer Services or to the Branch where account was opened.


What is the procedure and terms for converting foreign currency into LKR?

How quickly the information about the transaction (cash withdrawal/POS payment) appears (via SMS and online banking)?

1) When the customer withdraws LKR from his/her Account through ATM/Bank counter or when effecting payments through POS machines, the customer’s Account will be debited in foreign currency for the equivalent of LKR by applying the daily exchange rate.

2) Transactions will be processed and notifications will be sent to customers (internet banking) on a real-time basis


Is it possible to deposit foreign currency notes to the Accounts?

Yes can deposit the currency brought in to Sri Lanka to the Account. (Only the currencies approved by Central Bank Of Sri Lanka. Russian Ruble is not a designated currency in Sri Lanka)


What happens if a tourist does not come to Sri Lanka and does not receive a card in the office of People’s Bank?

After what time does the bank automatically close the account with no balance on it?

If the Account is credited with the remittances the customer should send the original requests to the Bank via post or courier to close the account and send back the funds to Russia mentioning the Russian Bank details.

2) If there are no remittances received /when the account the balance is zero, the Account will be automatically closed by the Bank after 12 months

3) If the minimum balance is not maintained in the account, a charge will be applied and deducted from the account. Currently, the charge is 1 USD/month.