China UnionPay, Bank of Lao and Banque Pour le Commerce Exterieur Lao Public signed a deal on Nov. 22 to set up a joint venture named LAPNet for joint operation of Lao’s national bank card payment system, UnionPay International, China UnionPay’s unit for international business, announced yesterday, but without specifying its shares in the JV or investment amounts.
Shanghai-based UnionPay participated as a contractor in the construction of Lao’s national card payment system in 2015 to institute inter-bank transfers and clearing of local bank card transactions, taking charge of system operation and maintenance for the ensuing three years.
China gave Bank of Lao foreign aid in 2012 to build its unified online platform for financial exchange and settlement.
The mechanism, which has now integrated with 12 major banks in Laos, will soon extend to encompass all commercial lenders in the country.
Bank of Lao proposed that UnionPay become a stakeholder in the JV to provide sustained technical services after the lapse of the contract to ensure the system’s stable operation and facilitate online transactions and mobile payments.