Laos Launched QR Payment System

Lao PDR, payment systems, QR code

The launch for the Lao QR Code standard for payments was held in Vientiane as a conference was taking place on domestic payment systems. BoL Governor Sonexay Sithphaxay, along with representatives of commercial banks, financial institutions, Fintech, World Bank Group, UnionPay and the Bank of Thailand (BoT) attended the event.

The launch has been hailed as a major achievement in the banking sector, especially for the BoL. It will lead to faster and safer services in payments and integration with other banks.

“For instance, the department under the BoL will not only focus on payment management but will cooperate with the World Bank Group to develop and modernise the banking system. This is a priority along with the active implementation of the banking policy,” he said.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, BoL Governor Sonexay Sithphazay stressed that the utilisation of the QR code standard would comply with the finance and currency sector’s strategic plan and minimise the use of cash, driving the onset of a digital economy and boosting socio-economic development.

“The launch of the Lao QR code standard will encourage other banks in Laos to speed up QR code development so that they are integrated,” he said.

He explained that if banks did not develop their systems, they would not be able to attract customers.

Along with the launch of the Lao QR code standard, a panel discussion on local payment systems was organised with the participation of several banking specialists from Laos, the World Bank Group and the BoT. The use of QR codes for payments, services and transactions has been widely adopted in Laos, but is not well integrated with other domestic and international systems.

The Lao QR Code standard has five purposes – peer-to-peer transfer, payments for products and other domestic and international services with coverage for general stores and e-commerce, future tax payments for the government, e-donations and future payment innovation.