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Laos forum

BCEL ATM not working?

Posted by achoo on 17/4/2012 at 02:46

Is anybody else currently experiencing problems with the BCEL ATM:s? I'm in Thakhek and none of the ATM:s are working for me and the bank doesn't open until tomorrow.

I hope it's not my card. My name pops up when I put it in, but after I've done all the choices it just says the transaction is not possible. I've used BCEL before in Luang Prabang and Vientiane without problems.
Thank you.

#1 achoo has been a member since 5/3/2012. Posts: 12

Posted by Captain_Bob on 17/4/2012 at 06:12

Your name is stored on the card so of course the machine can display this, but then the international link might not be working. This used to be a common problem with those Laos ATMs and although the situation has improved it still fails occasionally. See if any other foreigners are able to use their card. I've spent days in towns like Pakse and Luang Namtha waiting for the ATM to work, and it's usually due to a network error. Also the banks often don't mainitain the machines over weekends and they sometimes simply run out of banknotes. Be patient and always maintain a stash of at least a couple day's funds in case something like this happens.

#2 Captain_Bob has been a member since 27/5/2006. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,903


Posted by eastwest on 17/4/2012 at 06:35

Most likely explanation would be that the locals have emptied the ATM because of New year and it probably hasn't been refilled yet. I shouldn't worry yet. Give it a few days and like the captain says: always keep some cash on you for these situations

#3 eastwest has been a member since 17/12/2009. Posts: 778

Posted by achoo on 17/4/2012 at 08:12

Captain: Yeah but the fact that my name shows up sort of indicates that the card (the chip) is not broken at least? That would be a real problem.

Alright. The bank is closed today and I leave from Thakek to Pakse this evening.

The bank in Pakse should be open tomorrow (since the new years end) and hopefully my card works. My kips are running out but I have about a hundred dollars so I should be fine for a week if the ATM is out of cash. Maybe I can even withdraw cash in the bank, no?

#4 achoo has been a member since 5/3/2012. Posts: 12

Posted by eastwest on 17/4/2012 at 08:21

Wow, a hundred dollars for a week is enough?

#5 eastwest has been a member since 17/12/2009. Posts: 778

Posted by achoo on 17/4/2012 at 08:47

I only have 195K kip (about 100K after the bus to Pakse) and 160 dollars (approx 1 million kip). I can stay in dorms which are about 30K kip. Unless my card is broken or if they don't fill the ATM for a week this shouldn't be a problem.

#6 achoo has been a member since 5/3/2012. Posts: 12


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