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Lao Banks Partner In Integrated Payment System

Source: Vientiane Times

The Bank of the Lao PDR (BOL), the country’s central bank, on Monday officially launched the new joint venture Lao National Payment Network Co Ltd (LAPNet) in collaboration with seven major banks.

The company aims to create a more efficient system of payments and will enable an integrated and convenient method of electronic payment through the country’s banks.

The BOL and the seven major banks have invested in LAPNet with the aim of rolling out a faster, reliable and more convenient payment system.

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The participating banks are Banque pour le Commerce Exterieur Lao Public (BCEL), Lao Development Bank (LDB), Agricultural Promotion BANK (APB), Lao-Viet Joint Venture Bank, Joint Development Bank (JDB), ST Bank, and BIC Bank (Lao) Co Ltd.

LAPNet will employ the Loan Application Processing System (LAPS) provided by the BOL.

Customers can use credit cards and deposits for transactions via the ATM and CDM systems, including checking their account balance, withdrawing cash, or transferring funds.

In the long run, the company aims to develop a payment infrastructure for inter-bank transactions through multiple channels such as QR Code and internet-mobile banking.

According to the Memorandum of Understanding on the establishment of the company, which was signed in April, the company has nine shareholders. A 25 percent share worth US$1 million is held by the BOL, while BCEL owns a 20 percent share worth US$800,000, and UnionPay International holds a 15 percent stake worth US$600,000.

In addition, LDB and APB each have a 10 percent shareholding of US$400,000.

The JDB, Lao-Viet Joint Venture Bank, ST Bank and BIC Bank each have a 5 percent shareholding worth US$200,000.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, BOL Governor Mr Sonexay Sithphaxay said the Lao National Payment Network Co Ltd will be a platform for electronic payments with multiple channels.

“I’d like to express my deepest congratulations on the establishment of LAPNet, which has been long awaited, with a lot of hard work and cooperation until the official announcement today,” he said.

At the same event, the company launched its product for fund transfers via ATMs among six banks – BCEL, LDB, APB, JDB, BIC Bank and Maruhan Japan Bank Lao Co Ltd.

“I also hope that fund transfers via QR Code and EDC can be made within these banks to provide convenience to customers at stores and supermarkets,” Mr Sonexay said.

The opening ceremony was attended by the banks’ directors, managing directors and other officials.