Alipay Claims Global First Blockchain Remittance to the Philippines
Ant Financial (formerly known as Alipay), the payment affiliate of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, has trialed its first cross-border remittances between Hong Kong and the Philippines, a move touted as the first mobile wallet-based money transfer supported by blockchain technology.
It’s reported that the transaction, which used to go through complicated procedures with waiting time ranging from hours to days, is now quickly done in 3 seconds, by integrating AlipayHK service with GCash – a Philippines-based mobile payment service secured by blockchain technology.
Using blockchain to improve the speed, transparency and security whilst cost is reduced, compared to traditional international transfer methods.
Data from Standard Chartered – the bank supplying much of the back-end infrastructure – places the Philippines as the world’s third-largest market for inbound remittances, with $33 billion entering the country during 2017.
The move shows the ambition of the world’s highest-valued fintech company to speed up its global expansion plans with adoption of the emerging blockchain technology.
Its CEO Jack Ma, who has early embraced blockchain but reiterated his concern over the crypto bubble, said at the press conference,
“Blockchain should not be a tech to get rich overnight, instead, it should target at social problems, to secure data privacy, to keep sustainable and green development…
Using blockchain technology to achieve cross-border remittance is one of my most concerned projects in the past six months. Starting from Hong Kong, Alipay will bring this service to the rest of the world in the future.”
Years ago, Jack has recognized the importance of blockchain technology in securing data privacy and started learning about the tech. Since 2015, his Alipay has built cooperation with 9 mobile wallets outside mainland China, making an early foray into this ‘blue oceans’,
“There are still 1.7 billion people in the world who have no bank accounts, but the majority of them have mobile phones. The impact of blockchain on the future of humans may be far beyond our imagination.”
Earlier this month, Ant Financial has raised $14 billion in funding, and the company stated that it would focus ambition on blockchain technology development with the funds.