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BOL Warns Public About Unauthorised QR Code Payments

Source: Vientiane Times

The Bank of the Lao PDR (BOL) is warning the public about illegal QR code payment services being offered by banks or financial institutions that have not been granted permission by the BOL.

The central bank recently issued an announcement about the approval of two commercial banks and a microfinance institution which are able to provide QR Code payment services for customers.

The approved financial institutions are Banque pour le Commerce Exterieur Lao Public (BCEL-One Pay) and Lao-Vietnam Joint Venture Bank (LaoViet Bank – QR Pay) and the New Concept Microfinance Institution (Kapao E-wallet) which has been authorised to run a pilot service.

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BOL warned the public not to use any other QR Code payment services offered by companies, banks or financial institutions via mobile phone. Consumers are advised to immediately inform the BOL about any unauthorised services on 021 253 595 or 020 2222 3649 during working hours.

BCEL was the first commercial bank to launch the OnePay application last year allowing users to pay anyone, anywhere, directly from their account by simply photographing a QR code.

Earlier this year, the bank entered into a strategic partnership with Thanachart Bank of Thailand to introduce QR Code payments in Thailand for the benefit of Lao shoppers.

The number of vendors in Laos registering for the BCEL OnePay QR code system is increasing by 10 percent a month with transactions also up 10 percent each month, according to the bank, which claims to have 90 percent of the mobile banking business in Laos.

BCEL’s customers number about one million, out of a national population of just under seven million. About 200,000 of them use the mobile banking application.