Blockchain-based remittance service launched


Globe Telecom has partnered with Ant Financial Services Group of Chinese internet billionaire Jack Ma and Standard Chartered Plc to launch a blockchain-based remittance service between the Philippines and Hong Kong.

This is the first remittance service using the blockchain platform globally, offering a fast, secure, convenient, transparent and low-cost way to transfer money directly between individuals in Hong Kong and the Philippines, according to Globe Fintech Innovations Inc. or Mynt.

Standard Chartered agreed to provide the underlying banking infrastructure for the blockchain-based remittance service.

Alipay, the online payment platform operated by Ant Financial Services Group, applied blockchain technology to streamline the remittance process, radically improving the speed of delivery, enhancing transparency of the process and drastically reducing costs while ensuring better security measures when sending money across borders.

The service between GCash and AlipayHK will provide round-the-clock, real-time money transfer between Hong Kong and the Philippines at a competitive exchange rate with much lower transaction fees, which will be further waived during an initial three-month trial period.

More than 180,000 Filipinos are working in Hong Kong. With a few taps through AlipayHK’s mobile phone application, money will be transferred within seconds to a GCash user.

Blockchain technology is seen to change and radically improve the speed and efficiencies for remittance services.

Based on the smart contract, once a user submits a remittance application, all network participants including AlipayHK, GCash and Standard Chartered Bank, the first and core partner bank supporting on this initiative, are notified.

The segmented procedures of the remittance process can consequently take place in parallel, enabling the verification and execution of the transaction to occur simultaneously.

Through the blockchain platform, the sender and receiver are also able to track their money with every step of the way – from when the remittance application was made, until when the receiver successfully obtains the money. All information stored, shared or uploaded through the blockchain remittance platform is further encrypted with the most advanced protocols to protect the user’s privacy.

“We are very excited to introduce this new remittance solution to our users in Hong Kong, and in particular to the Filipino community in the city,” says Jennifer Tan, chief executive of Alipay Payment Services (HK) Limited.

“What used to be a long process of physically going to a remittance booth, queuing in line for hours and filling out forms, is now easily and securely done over the mobile phone in just a few seconds,” she says.

Canning Fok, group co-managing director of CK Hutchison Holdings and chairman of Alipay Payment Services Limited, says the cooperation with GCash to bring remittance to the Philippines using the new technology was only the first step.

Anthony Thomas, president and CEO of Mynt, the operator of Gcash, says the company was building a cashless ecosystem to make financial services affordable and accessible to every Filipino.

“This time, in partnership with AlipayHK and Ant Financial, GCash is able to achieve another breakthrough to make sending money to the Philippines easier, more convenient, and more secure for Filipinos abroad. We believe that for overseas Filipinos, sending money home to their family’s GCash mobile wallet will soon be the norm,” he says.

Standard Chartered was an integral partner in the development of the solution and would provide the underlying banking infrastructure to support the pivotal initiative.

Lisa Robins, global head of transaction banking at Standard Chartered, says remittances are a lifeblood of many communities in the Philippines, the third largest remittance market with $33 billion of inflows in 2017.

“We are proud to collaborate with Ant Financial, and act as their banking partner for this new service to make remittances easier, cheaper and more secure,” Robins says.

25 June 2018


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