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Telenor Microfinance Bank taps Alipay’s blockchain technology for cross-border remittances between Malaysia and Pakistan

Wed, 09 Jan 2019, 04:43 am UTC

Pakistan-based Telenor Microfinance Bank, in collaboration with Valyou, a Malaysian fintech subsidiary of Telenor Group, has announced Pakistan’s first blockchain-based cross-border remittance service.

According to the official release, the new remittance serve is powered by Alipay’s blockchain technology and is provided by Telenor’s Easypaisa and Valyou. It will enable Pakistanis living in Malaysia to send money home instantly and securely through Valyou.

The blockchain technology will significantly boost the speed and efficiency of remittances, while ensuring their security and transparency. By eliminating intermediary costs, the new service reduces the transactional cost for end-users. It will also enable both senders and receivers to track their money every step of the way.

“The transparency and swiftness this innovative and first-of-its-kind service brings to Pakistani users of international remittance will redefine international money transfer in the country,” said Roar Bjærum, Senior Vice President, Telenor Financial Services, Telenor Group.

State Bank of Pakistan Governor Tariq Bajwa said that the initiative “puts Pakistan on the map of very few countries in the world that have launched International Remittance using blockchain technology.”

The new service will facilitate round-the-clock, real-time money transfers between Malaysia and Pakistan at a competitive exchange rate, with Alipay’s transaction fees waived during the one-year trial period, the release said. It aims to foster the use of formal channels for remittances, with all existing incentives offered by the State Bank of Pakistan for the promotion of international remittance through mobile wallet being applicable for this service.

Alipay is the online payment platform operated by Ant Financial Services Group. Since 2015, it has formed nine strategic partnerships with local partners outside Mainland China. As of today, Alipay, together with its global partners, is serving over 1 billion active users worldwide.

The announcement comes as Pakistan is striving to strengthen its financial system. The government recently enhanced its National Financial Inclusion Strategy through a five-year plan that aims to create 3 million jobs and additional exports of $5.5 billion USD by improving SMEs’ access to financing.

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