The Chinese government has agreed to provide a grant of 56 million yuan (more than 70 billion kip) to the Lao government to improve the Lao ATM Pool Switch (LAPS) project.
The project implementation agreement was signed in Vientiane last week between the Bank of the Lao PDR Vice Governor, Mr Sonexay Sithphaxay, and China Development Bank (CDB) Deputy CEO, Mr Zhou Qingyu.
The ceremony was attended by Deputy Prime Minster, Dr Bounpone Bouttanavong, Governor of the Bank of the Lao PDR, Dr Somphao Phaysith along with representatives of the governments of Laos and China.
Studies into the project and the gathering of information about the system development by CDB were carried out in 2011 and the Bank of the Lao PDR and CDB signed a memorandum of understanding about their cooperation in setting up the project at the end of 2012, said Mr Sonexay
In April this year, the Lao and Chinese governments agreed to approve the grant for the project’s development, he reported.
Contract work on the ATM system development project is being undertaken by UnionPay Group of China.
The pool system will effectively create a centralised ATM network, cutting unnecessary costs and saving time for customers as they will no longer have to seek out the ATM of a particular bank.
The system will also help maintain an appropriate level of cash flow in keeping with real needs.
At the moment ATM card users of BCEL, Agriculture and Promotion Bank (APB), Lao-Viet Bank (LVB) and Lao Development Bank (LDB) can use the services of any of their respective ATMs as the systems of all four banks are integrated, the handout read.
The system reflects the strong ties between the banks that are together trying to make their services simpler, thereby increasing customer satisfaction with domestic banks.
BCEL signed a memorandum of understanding with seven domestic banks regarding the development of an ATM pool system in November, 2012. The ultimate aim is to provide convenience for ATM card users and engender pride in Lao banks.
Banks to be part of the ATM network include BCEL, LDB, APB, LVB, Joint Development Bank, ST Bank Co. Ltd, Indochina Bank Ltd and Banque Franco-Lao Ltd. The wider the system the greater the customer satisfaction will be.
This will also boost the banking business and increase the competitiveness of the domestic banks.
Source: Vientiane Times