Business 10 January 2019

Dennis Wafula

Blockchain-based remittance service launched between Pakistan and Malaysia

Telenor, a global telecommunication giant, announced through its Pakistani subsidiary the launch of a blockchain powered cross border remittance service.

According to the announcement, Telenor’s Easypasia, Telenor Microfinance Bank (TMB) and Valyou-a finetech subsidiary of Telenor in Malaysia, have jointly launched a blockchain based international remittance service in Pakistan. The blockchain is reported to have been developed by Ant Financials online payment platform, Alibay.

 The announcement was made at an event in Islamabad that had prominent officials like Tariq Bajwa, the Governor of State Bank of Pakistan. The new service is reportedly aimed at improving efficiency and increasing the speed of remittance between Pakistan and Malaysia. It will also ensure transparency and security of transaction. All the information stored, shared or uploaded through the remittance platform will be encrypted with advanced protocols to protect user’s privacy. In addition, the service will allow senders and receivers to track how their money is moving through the process.

The blockchain powered remittance service works by allowing non-stop real-time money transfers between two countries, possibly at a competitive exchange rate. In the announcement, the companies also stated that in the next one-year trial period, the transactions fees of Alipay would be waived off.

According to Bajwa, Home remittance contribute to over 6% in GDP which is equivalent to over 50% of the Pakistan trade deficit, 85% of exports and over one-third of import during last year’s financial year. Reportedly, from the 6%, $1 billion comes from Malaysia.

Eric Jing, the CEO, and chair of Ant Financial, stated that the new remittance service has shown how up-and-coming technologies can help countries meet their additional digital and financial goals.

While commentating on the matter, President and CEO,of Telenor Microfinance Bank, Shahid Mustafa stated:

“The international remittance service epitomizes the shared vision of Telenor Group and Ant Financial to empower societies by bringing inclusive financial services to the world.”

Telenor Group hopes this service will redefine international money transfer in the country. They believe this new service will encourage the use of formal channels for remittance by taking advantage of all the incentives offered in the promotion of International remittance by the State Bank of Pakistan.

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