Alipay Empowers Pakistan’s First Blockchain Remittances
Ant Financial (formerly known as Alipay), the payment affiliate of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, has updated its cross-border remittance processes.
On Jan 8, Tariq Bajwa, governor of State Bank of Pakistan announced the launch of the country’s first blockchain-based international remittance project in Islamabad.
According to the announcement, the Pakistan-based Telenor Microfinance Bank (TMB), Telenor Group’s Malaysian Fintech subsidiary Valyou, and its Pakistani mobile banking arm Easypaisa have jointly launched real-time money transfers between the two nations based on blockchain technology developed by Alipay.
The entire cross-border remittance project only took 168 days to come into service. Since then, Pakistani working in Malaysia can transform their funds to their Easypaisa via Valyou’s remittance service which is much faster and safer.
Bajwa indicated that: “The new blockchain remittance service uses new technology to disrupt the existing financial service framework in Pakistan. This puts Pakistan on the map of very few countries in the world that have launched international remittance using blockchain technology.”
According to Bajwa, the international remittances of Pakistan stand at around $20 billion per year and Malaysia is one of the main sources of remittances. Most local families rely on remittances from their overseas family members each month to cover their living expenses. Currently, Pakistan receives about $1 billion in home remittances.
“Home remittances contributed to over 6 percent in GDP, equivalent to over 50 percent of our trade deficit, 85 percent of exports and over one-third of imports during FY 2017-18.”
The technology upgrade of blockchain-based cross-border remittance is expected to alleviate the problems of the long processing time and high transaction cost. It may enable nonstop real-time money transfer while cutting intermediary cost and tracking every fund.
As thus, from the perspective of overall macroeconomic stability this blockchain project may improve the lives of millions of Pakistani families.
“The new remittance service is one of the examples of how emerging technologies can help countries meet their digital and financial inclusion goals,” said Eric Jing, chairman and CEO of Ant Financial.