Ant Financial, which is apart of the Alibaba group ran by Jack Ma, launched blockchain-based money transfers between Hong Kong and the Philippines today.
This service, designed to compete with banks and traditional remittance services, is currently available only for transfers between Hong Kong and the Philippines, according to Ant Financial.
Why is Jack Ma doing this?
The billionaire said he wants to make it possible for people to remit even 1 cent at almost no cost, compared with the high fees charged by traditional remittances services like MoneyGram to transfer money overseas.
What about Alipay?
Now, users of AlipayHK – the Hong Kong version of Ant’s Alipay wallet – should be able to transfer money within seconds to users of GCash. The first three months are a trial period during which transaction fees will be waived.
The disadvantages of traditional remittance outlets include long waiting times, lack of transparency, high transaction costs, and unfavourable exchange rates.
Eric Jing, chief executive of Ant Financial, said in a statement, “This is a new starting point and significant step forward in accelerating Alipay’s pace to promote tech for good and financial inclusion globally.”
A banking giant Standard Chartered will act as the settlement bank for both AlipayHK and GCash for the blockchain transactions.
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