Lao Banks Agree To Share ATM services

ATM in Laos

Representatives of eight leading banks in Laos signed a memorandum of understanding last Friday for the creation of a shared, modernised ATM system. Representatives from BCEL, Lao-Viet Bank, Banque Franco Lao, Lao Development Bank, Agricultural Promotion Bank, ST Bank, and Indochina Bank signed the agreement.

The banks will jointly develop and upgrade existing ATMs into a “pool system” that will be capable of providing services other than simple cash withdrawals, including money transfers. “The Bank of the Lao PDR sees this as one of the most significant initiatives by local banks; it will be a project which will simplify the use of ATMs run by participating banks, and in the process ready our local banks for the increased competition we expect from foreign banks once we join the Asean Economic Community,” Bank of the Lao PDR Vice Governor, Mr Sonxay Sithphaxay, said at the signing.

The Bank of the Lao PDR has always realised the importance of modernisation in banking, such as setting up a jointly owned and run ATM pool system. “I’m confident this pooling system will be a good way for all banks to cut the costs of introducing new ATMs individually, as well as providing convenience to our customers. This will ultimately become a significant advantage for our banks over those not participating in this system. “This project can only be realised through the hard work of the management and a committed effort by the staff of all the banks involved, thus creating a new image for our businesses and the nation’s banking industry.”

BCEL Deputy General Director Mr Phansana Khounnou vong said demand for ATMs has grown across the country, with the eight banks now having a total of 400 machines. He said BCEL will be the main dev eloper of the pool system and will sign a contract with a foreign company to develop, produce, and integrate the new system into existing ATMs now the me morandum of understanding has been signed.

The banks expect to test the system in February next year, before officially making the new serv ic es available to customers in March. The system will cover 95 percent of the country’s ATM machines. “We plan to integrate the ATM pool system into other countries in order to encourage ATM users to use our services both locally and overseas,” Mr Phansana said.

Banks Agree to Share ATMs in Laos

 

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Vientiane Times, Vientiane Mai
27 November, 2012
Photo: File Photo, Vientiane Mai
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