State-owned Lao bank unveils mobile phone services

By Bounfaeng Phaymanivong | Source: ANN

The state-owned Lao Development Bank (LDB) on Monday launched mobile phone banking and Visa card services as part of its modernisation process and overall service upgrade.

The launch also marked the 10th anniversary of the bank, which was founded in April 2003. The bank was the result of a merger between the Lanexang Bank Limited and Laomay Bank Limited.

The bank provides customers with financial services, deposit and credit facilities and transfers payments between business operators, organisations and individuals.

Speaking at the launch, LDB Director Bualien Phommavongsa said one of the bank’s main goals is to provide loans to small and medium enterprises, larger businesses and other clients.

“Over the past decade, LDB has played a significant role in implementing government policies on economics and currencies, and operates under the supervision of the Bank of the Lao PDR.”

Bualien said the bank launched credit services for SMEs in 2008, to help provide small businesses with sufficient capital to survive and grow their operations.

“SMEs in particular contribute to the country’s social and economic development. They help to raise living standards around the country and over time enable more people to rise above poverty,” he added.

LDB’s head office is on Souphanouvong Avenue in Sihom village, Chanthabouly district, Vientiane. The bank has modernised its services and uses the Core Banking system, which enables online banking throughout the country.

The new mobile phone banking service provides customers with SMS alerts and enables payment of electricity and phone bills and money transfers. In addition, Visa card holders can now withdraw cash from ATMs across the country.

Governor of the Bank of the Lao PDR, Somphao Phaisith, observed that LDB has made significant progress in terms of providing loans to SMEs and other banking services.

“LDB is now on track to serve the needs of society. The most important factor is the provision of fast services using the most modern technology as Laos prepares to join the Asean Economic Community in 2015,” Somphao said.

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