Laos bank launches QR Code UnionPay Service

LAO PDR (Vientiane Times) - Banque pour le Commerce Exterieur Lao Public (BCEL) in cooperation with UnionPay International (UPI) will now offer a payment service through QR Code UnionPay to facilitate customers.

Mr Sonexay Sithphaxay (centre) joins BCEL and UPI managers to launch the QR Code UnionPay Service in Vientiane.

The official launching ceremony of the QR Code UnionPay Service was held in Vientiane last week and was attended by the Governor of the Bank of Lao PDR, Mr Sonexay Sithphaxay, the Deputy Director Manager of UnionPay International Southeast Asia, Mr Vincent Ling, and the General Managing Director, Mr Phoukhong Chanthachack, along with government officials from relevant sectors, business partners and tour companies, the Chinese Embassy to Laos and China Chamber of Commerce to Laos.

BCEL is on good business terms with UPI for over 10 years. It started off by offering services such as ATM Unionpay, student card and Credit UnionPay Corban. To further this service with financial technology expansion (Fin Tech), BCEL and UPI have joined hands to provide the first QR Code UnionPay Service.

BCEL is the first bank to bring the QR Code UnionPay Service in Laos, which is known in the country for App OnePay. UPI is the first service that launched the QR Code Payment Service in Southeast Asia.

At present, UnionPay App mobile phone users can pay through mobile phone service to more than 11 million shops in China and 32 other countries around the world. This international practice powered by new technology will enable instant financial transactions between Laos and China and will lead to easier, faster, safe and low capital transactions.

QR code member shops of BCEL will be able to receive payments from BCEL OnePay. They will also be able to accept payment from Chinese customers who use the UnionPay App. The QR Code UnionPay Service will help UnionPay App users, particularly the Chinese to make payments in real time by scanning QR code in shops of Laos.

This cooperation is yet another step that will help Laos’s local businesses to reach out to more Chinese visitors. UnionPay currently operates one of the most popular mobile payment apps in China, with about 150 million users, including in Shanghai. The company is also one of the largest players in the country’s bank card market as per market share.

More than 4.1 million visitors came to Laos in 2018, an 8.2 percent increase compared to 2017. More than 800,000 tourists came from China, a rise of 26 percent, according to the Lao Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism. Laos is also currently pushing for a promotional campaign, Visit Laos-China Year 2019 to attract more Chinese tourists. Currently, BCEL has more than 10,000 member shops around the country that are ready to provide service through QR Code UnionPay.