Chief executive Rajendra Theagarajah said HNB had first launched a basic text message based mobile banking service as far back as 2005 but it had only 13,000 users, but mobile phones now spanned the entire country.
"If you truly want to engage the Sri Lankan population into economic activity, there is the mobile revolution where almost every individual and why not enable that handset into a inclusive proposition which gives that person access to finance," Theagarajah he said.
He said the bank planned to covert 300,000 of its 2.5 million accounts holders to use mobile banking services within the next two to three years.
The mobile banking service is compatible with over 8,000 handsets in use in Sri Lanka, head of retail banking Dilshan Rodrigo said. It is available through all mobile operators in Sri Lanka.
The service comes in three versions targeted at high end users with i-phones and smart phones to which an app can be downloaded, mid-range phones and less sophisticated basic phones.
Customers could check balances, transfer funds within accounts and to other account holders, pay utility bills, and also make payments to a growing list of vendors that HNB was signing up, schools, insurers and retailers.
Rodrigo said from next month the service will allow transfers to accounts in other banks.
Jonathan Alles, deputy chief executive said the bank planned to popularize mobile banking in rural areas. Unlike computers, he said practically every adult now had a mobile phone.
"Internet banking may take a little longer to get into rural areas," Alles said. "But everyone in rural areas has a mobile. We plan to engage them today."
HNB's 'Gemi Puduwa' micro-finance scheme has always been a brick and mortar operation.
"At the start it was an effort to get them into banking," Alles said. "Now they are used to it. They are getting quite busy. Now it's time to do transactions while they are busy doing their work.
"So complementing this brick and mortar model, you will see HNB going into a state-of-the-art technology driven, micro-finance module very shortly."