Blockchain Remittance Service For Pakistan And Malaysia Planned By Telenor Microfinance Bank
Pakistan-based Telenor Microfinance Bank, in partnership with Malaysia-based FinTech firm Valyou, is planning to launch a cross-border remittance service that will be powered by Alipay’s blockchain technology.
Announced at an event in Islamabad attended by State Bank of Pakistan Governor Tariq Bajwa, the blockchain-based cross-border remittance service will be provided by Telenor’s Easypaisa and Valyou, which provides remittances to underbanked communities.
“This puts Pakistan on the map of very few countries in the world that have launched international remittance using blockchain technology,” said Bajwa. “At around USD 20 billion per year, international remittances are important from the perspective of overall macroeconomic stability and their positive spillover in improving lives of millions of families. Home remittances contributed to over 6% in GDP, equivalent to over 50% of our trade deficit, 85% of exports and over one-third of imports during FY 2017-18.”
The new remittance service will make round-the-clock, real-time money transfers between Malaysia and Pakistan possible at a competitive exchange rate, with Alipay’s transaction fees waived during the one-year trial period. The service will ensure the money transfers are highly secure and transparent, as all information stored, shared, or uploaded through the blockchain will be encrypted with advanced protocols in order to protect users’ privacy.
“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, the parent company of Alipay. “We’re thrilled to be part of Pakistan’s financial inclusion efforts and we’re dedicated to exploring breakthroughs and applying them to benefit more people in more places.”
The goal of the new remittance service is to promote and encourage the use of formal channels for remittances, with all existing incentives offered by State Bank of Pakistan for promotion of international remittance through mobile wallet being applicable for this service.
“The international remittance service epitomizes the shared vision of Telenor Group and Ant Financial to empower societies by bringing inclusive financial services to the world,” said Shahid Mustafa, President & CEO, Telenor Microfinance Bank. “It is a bold statement of the wonders new technologies can do to transform the financial services landscape in Pakistan which remains a top priority on the country’s national agenda.”
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