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IFC and Bank of the Lao PDR Support the Adoption of a New Banking Standard in the Mekong Region

Vientiane, Lao PDR, November 3, 2016 —IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is helping commercial banks in Lao PDR and Mekong countries to streamline transactions through an improved payment system. The country’s payments, remittances and securities settlement system (“PRSSS”) will deliver safer, more efficient, cheaper and innovative payment methods to customers, especially benefitting small and medium sized enterprises in rural areas. The updated system will contribute to overall financial stability and allow for widespread access to non-cash payments.
On November 3 and 4, Bank of the Lao PDR and IFC are hosting a conference for banks in the Mekong region to adopt ISO 20022, a new ISO standard that promises to unify financial entities with a common language.
“The adoption of the new ISO 20022 standard is quite important for the modernization of the financial sector in the region as it allows an increased level of efficiency for the communication and exchange of financial transactions,” said Vattana Dalaloy, Deputy Governor of Bank of the Lao PDR. “The Bank of the Lao PDR is undertaking a holistic development of the national payment system and will continue working in this area to modernize the sector and increase the level of financial stability and inclusion.”
During the workshop attendees will discuss the features of the ISO 20022 standard and share industry feedback within a global context. Among the 100-plus expected participants are representatives from the Bundesbank, the Reserve Bank of India, SWIFT, the central banks of Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar and local operators.
“This is the first time we are offering the region’s central banks and commercial entities with a list of concrete step-by-step guidelines for implementing new standards complying with ASEAN,” said Phongsavanh Phomkong, Head of IFC Office in Vientiane.
In partnership with the Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), the workshop is delivered by the World Bank Group Finance and Markets Global Practice, which aims to help countries build deep, diversified, inclusive, efficient and stable financial systems essential to promoting economic growth and reducing poverty and increasing shared prosperity.
About IFC
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our six decades of experience to create opportunity where it’s needed most. In FY16, our long-term investments in developing countries rose to nearly $19 billion, leveraging our capital, expertise and influence to help the private sector end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity. For more information, visit
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