Alipay HK partners with Philippine’s GCash to launch a blockchain-based cross-border remittance service between Hong Kong and the Philippines.
Announced at a Hong Kong press conference, the service promised lower transfer fees and faster transactions.
In a statement, Alipay HK (operated by Ant Financial) owner Jack Ma said that this is one of his priority projects in the last 6 months. He hopes to bring the service to other countries in the future.
Mr. Ma confirmed the fast transaction speed when using blockchain technology in remittance. Various reports said that Mr. Ma’s transaction was completed within 3 seconds.
According to Globe, the telecom company behind mobile payment service GCash in the Philippines, transaction fees are waived during a 3-month trial period. Users will be able to send and receive money without fees during this time to get familiar with the technology.
Standard Chartered Bank will provide the underlying banking infrastructure to support the initiative. Standard Chartered and GCash both mentioned in a press release how the blockchain project can help ease remittances in the Philippines. “As the world’s 3rd largest recipient of global remittances, this new service will make it easier, cheaper, and more secure,” said Lisa Robins, Global Head of Transaction Banking for Standard Chartered.
In the past, Globe Telecom is on record that the company will stick to fiat currency and will not touch cryptocurrencies. Another Philippine Telco – PLDT, joined a blockchain consortium to experiment on the potential of blockchain technology in the telecom industry.
Remittance is one of the most popular practical use cases of the blockchain. A number of blockchain-based remittance service exist in the Philippines prior to Gcash and Alipay’s Initiative. Among them is Rebit.ph from SCI Ventures and Bloom Solutions, which provide services to traditional remittance companies to onboard their systems to the blockchain. Transactions in Coins.ph, which celebrated 5 million user acquisitions last month, are settled in bitcoin using blockchain technology.