AlipayHK, a division of Ant Financial which was established by Jack Ma in 2014. Who is also the founder of a Chinese online retail giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (NYSE: BABA). Alipay and GCash have announced the launch of a new cross-border remittance service that is built on blockchain technology.
AlipayHK launched the new remittance platform in partnership with GCash, a payment service platform that is based in the Philippines. The main idea behind the new service is to allow AlipayHK customers to send money to the Philippines using a fast, secure and transparent channel. It was also revealed during the launch event that Standard Chartered has been selected as the settlement bank.
“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. 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,” stated Jennifer Tan, the CEO of AlipayHK.
According to Alibaba founder, Jack Ma, pointed out during the launch that there are more than 1.7 billion people globally who do not have bank accounts. He also added that smartphone penetration globally has been quite impressive, thus presenting an opportunity to create new financial services that will reach out to that demography.
Embracing blockchain technology as the key to unlocking more efficiency
The Alibaba CEO believes that blockchain technology is the ideal vehicle for overcoming the challenges of inclusion, sustainability, and security. The launch of the new remittance service, therefore, highlights Alibaba’s commitment to explore and exploit blockchain through AlipayHK. The overall goal is to provide services that will improve the lives of people all over the world.
Blockchain technology is also rapidly being embraced within the banking sector in the Philippines. Meanwhile, the launch of the new service puts AlipayHK in direct competition with services such as MoneyGram. Ma claims that the low transaction charges involved in the new remittance service will be more attractive to users. The charges will be significantly low compared to transaction fees charged by traditional remittance services.
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