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Laos, Vietnam to Launch Cross-Border QR Payment Service in August

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Laos and Vietnam will launch a cross-border QR payment service to enhance tourism and economic exchanges between the two nations. The service is expected to commence in early August this year.

Bounluea Sinxayvoravong, the Governor of the Bank of Laos, revealed this plan during the 7th session of the National Assembly. 

The initiative, a cooperation between the Bank of Laos and the State Bank of Vietnam, seeks to streamline financial transactions for tourists visiting the two countries, as well as to facilitate businesses across borders.

Thousands of Vietnamese tourists travel to Laos annually. Earlier this year, Vietnam ranked second among the top foreign arrivals in Laos, with more than 263,000 visitors out of the over 1.1 million foreign tourists visiting Laos.

The QR code cross-border payment system is part of Laos’ broader plan to improve regional money transfers and payments with its neighboring countries, including Thailand, Vietnam, and Cambodia.

Recently, Laos launched a similar QR code payment system with Thailand, initially allowing Lao visitors and workers to make QR payments between Laos and Thailand through participating banks, while plans are in place for Thai tourists to utilize the service in Laos from July onwards, according to Bounluea.

The bank’s governor also mentioned that this payment system could positively impact the Lao economy. Particularly, if a high number of tourists uses it, a significant amount of foreign currency will flow directly to the Bank of Laos, helping to stabilize the exchange rate set by the central bank.

In August 2023, Laos and Cambodia also launched a cross-border payment system, enabling visitors to use their local currencies, Lao kip and Khmer riel, via QR codes while traveling.

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