Millions of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) worldwide send remittance money to their loved ones in the Philippines. While wired money transfers and bank remittances remain to be an option, technology today enables a more seamless way of doing business with the emerging practical use of what is called “blockchain technology“.
And this is exactly what Globe‘s GCash and Alipay Hong Kong had in mind when they launched this new partnership yesterday with a live stream telecast of the application being used in real-time enjoining an actual OFW sending money to the Philippines in less than 5 seconds amidst both the Philippine and Hong Kong media.
GCash-AlipayHK Cross-Border Remittance Service
The partnership, which is a first of its kind globally, allows cross-border remittances between individuals in the Philippines and in Hong Kong.
This means that e-wallet platform GCash users may now send and receive money to and from individuals in Hong Kong using cutting-edge blockchain technology through a partnership between Standard Chartered and Alipay, the online payment platform operated by Ant Financial Services Group (“Ant Financial”, “Ant”).
Alipay has applied blockchain technology to streamline the remittance process, radically improving the speed of delivery, enhancing transparency of the process and drastically reducing costs while ensuring better security measures when sending money across borders.
“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,” said Jennifer Tan, CEO of Alipay Payment Services (HK) Limited (APSHK)
This service between GCash and AlipayHK aims to provide round-the-clock, real-time money transfer between Hong Kong and the Philippines at a competitive exchange rate with much lower transaction fees.
Today, during the initial three-month trial period, fees are waived – it’s FREE for 3 months! With a few taps through AlipayHK’s mobile phone application, money will be transferred within seconds to a GCash user.
More About Blockchain Technology
Blockchain technology allows to change and radically improve the speed and efficiencies for remittance services.
Based on the smart contract, once a user submits a remittance application, all network participants including AlipayHK, GCash and Standard Chartered Bank, the first and core partner bank supporting on this initiative, are notified.
“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,” adds Anthony Thomas, President and CEO of Mynt, the operator of GCash
The segmented procedures of the remittance process can consequently take place in parallel, enabling the verification and execution of the transaction to occur simultaneously.
Through the blockchain platform, the sender and receiver are also able to track their money with every step of the way – from when the remittance application was made, until when 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.
Standard Chartered is said to have been an integral partner in the development of the solution and will provide the underlying banking infrastructure to support this pivotal initiative.
“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…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,” Eric Jing, Executive Chairman and CEO of Ant Financial.
More about Alipay
Since the launch of Alipay in 2004 and the establishment of Ant Financial in 2014, the Company has built an integrated technology platform and ecosystem of partners to bring more secure, transparent, cost-effective and inclusive financial services to individuals and SMEs globally. The Company will continue to invest in developing its blockchain, AI, security, IoT and computing capabilities to upgrade its global technology platform for the next generation.
Starting from 2015, Alipay has formed nine strategic partnerships with local partners outside Chinese mainland, sharing their technology know-how and risk management capabilities to provide more mobile payment and inclusive financial services to local users. 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.
“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,” adds Jennifer Tan