AlipayHK and Gcash Claims Global First Blockchain based Real-time remittance service

AlipayHK and GCash announced first blockchain-based cross-border money transfer through their e-wallet platform. Alipay had developed cutting-edge blockchain technology used in their e-wallet platform. Alipay is online payment platform operated by Ant Financial Services Group (“Ant Financial”, “Ant”). It worth noting that the announcement did the not mention use of Ripple blockchain technology which claimed to have enterprise-grade products for cross-border money transfers.

To brief about business entities, Ant Financial Services Group is dedicated to using technology to bring the world equal opportunities. The electronic wallet is operated by Alipay Financial Services (HK) Limited.  Alipay Financial Services (HK) is license holder of Stored Value Facilities and supervised by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority. APSHK is a joint venture established and managed by the CK Hutchison Holdings Limited and Ant Financial Services Group. GCash is an internationally-acclaimed micropayment service that transforms the mobile phone into a virtual wallet for secure, fast and convenient money transfer.

This newly introduced e-wallet is claimed to be the first blockchain-based cross-border digital wallet remittance service globally. It offers a fast, secure, convenient, transparent and low-cost way to transfer money directly between individuals in Hong Kong and the Philippines.

Alipay has applied blockchain technology to streamline its remittance process. It has radically improving the speed of delivery, enhancing transparency of the process and drastically reducing costs. The new implementation of blockchain technology has ensured better security measures when sending money across borders.

This blockchain-based cross-border remittance service between GCash and AlipayHK will provide round-the-clock, real-time money transfer between Hong Kong and the Philippines. The service offers lower transaction fees along with competitive exchange rate. During an initial three-month trial period, transaction fees will be waived off.

With a few taps through AlipayHK’s mobile phone application, money will be transferred within seconds to a GCash user.

Once a user submits a remittance application which actually is a smart contract, all network participants including AlipayHK, GCash and Standard Chartered Bank are notified. Apparently, Standard Chartered Bank is the first and core partner bank supporting on this initiative. Blockchain technology allows us to change and radically improve the speed and efficiencies for remittance service, says the announcement. Standard Chartered has been an integral partner in the solution development. It will provide the underlying banking infrastructure.

The announcement said that the segmented procedures of the remittance process can consequently take place in parallel. This enables the verification and execution of the transaction to occur simultaneously.

The sender and receiver are also able to track their money with every step of the way, the obvious advantage of blockchain technology. Transparency into the money transfer transaction starts from the time the remittance application was made until 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.

CEO of Alipay Payment Services (HK) Limited (APSHK), Jennifer Tan said, “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. Together with GCash, we aim to provide Filipino expatriates a more convenient, seamless experience to transfer money back home to their families in the Philippines. We will also continue to provide tailor-made solutions for our customers as we aim to enhance their daily lives through our secure and fuss-free approach.”

Canning Fok, Group Co-Managing Director of CK Hutchison Holdings and Chairman of Alipay Payment Services (HK) Limited said, “This cooperation with GCASH to bring remittance to the Philippines using the new technology is the first step and there are many other places Hong Kong people need to remit money. I’m happy to see that the AlipayHK team is hard at work to expand this service to more people, bringing us closer to our families and friends with a cheaper and quicker solution.

President and CEO of Mynt, the operator of GCash, Anthony Thomas said, “GCash is building a cashless ecosystem to make financial services affordable and accessible to every Filipino as we aim to provide the Philippines’ underserved market with convenient options for load top-up, remittance, and cashless payments for goods and services, among others. 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.”

Global Head, Transaction Banking, Standard Chartered, Lisa Robins said, “Remittances are a lifeblood of many communities in the Philippines, the third largest remittance market with US$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. This evidences our joint commitment to deliver financial services to the unbanked and underbanked and exemplifies our “Here for Good” brand promise.”

Eric Jing, Executive Chairman and CEO of Ant Financial said, “We are thrilled to witness AlipayHK and GCash jointly launch the groundbreaking cross-wallet remittance function. Ant Financial is dedicated to exploring fintech breakthroughs and applying them to benefit more people in more places. This is a new starting point and significant step forward in accelerating Alipay’s pace to promote tech for good, and financial inclusion globally. Through leveraging our technological capabilities, we are committed to bringing financial services to the large underserved populations in Asia and beyond together with our ecosystem partners who share our vision and mission.”

“Ant Financial and Alipay have been exploring the cutting-edge blockchain technology since 2015. Blockchain is revolutionizing the remittance industry, and we look forward to further innovating and expanding the application of the technology in global remittances, together with local wallet partners and other ecosystem partners,” Jing added.

In the year ended March 31, 2018, Alipay, together with its global partners, served approximately 870 million annual active users globally and over 15 million small businesses in China.


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Mandar is a seasoned software professional for more than a decade. He is Cloud, AI, IoT, Blockchain and Fintech enthusiast. He writes to benefit others from his experiences. His overall goal is to help people learn about the Cloud, AI, IoT, Blockchain and Fintech and the effects they will have economically and socially in the future.

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