AlipayHK, a digital wallet joint venture between Ant Financial and HK based Hutchison holdings along with GCash, a Philippines based payment services provider has launched a remittance service which is based on Blockchain Technology. Standard Chartered is the settlement bank for the service.
The service facilitates money-transfer and remittances for customers, between HongKong and Philippines. Amongst the many remittance service providers in the market, this is the first of a kind built on Blockchain and provides round the clock service.
Essentially, Blockchain can be considered as a public digital ledger shared among various users. An entry is made in the journal for every transaction performed, which cannot be altered or modified. Thus, the technology offers full transparency and traceability for all transactions.
Bitcoin, the most prominent cryptocurrency was built on Blockchain, bringing the technology into fame. Since then, the tech and business communities are working on various use cases, trying to bring Blockchain to the mainstream.
Blockchain technology is expected to have applications across various industries. The prominent ones being Healthcare, Logistics, Food supply chain, Real Estate, Public services and, Banking and Financial Services.
Ant Financial’s Breakthrough
During the launch of remittance service, Eric Jing, the CEO of Ant Financials 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 people in more places”
The service is currently in the trial period for 3 months, during which there will not be any transaction fee charged to users. Following the successful rollout, Ant Financial is expected to expand the service across various markets globally. Eric highlighted in his statement,
“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”.
Remittance service adds a lucrative option to the wallet providers as a new revenue stream. They are able to charge a service fee or earn a small spread on the FX rates for every remittance.
Ant Financial recently raised Series C funding totaling $14 billion both from domestic and international investors. It wants to utilize the funds to accelerate its globalization plans and to invest in financial technology.