Telenor bank introduces blockchain remittances

Telenor bank introduces blockchain remittances

KARACHI: Telenor Microfinance Bank, in partnership with Vaiyou of Malaysia, has introduced Pakistan’s first blockchain-based cross-border remittance service to enable Pakistanis living in Malaysia to send money home instantly and securely, a statement said on Tuesday. This new service is powered by Alipay’s blockchain technology operated by Ant Financial Services Group (Ant Financial). The blockchain technology would boost the speed and efficiency of remittances from Malaysia to Pakistan, and also ensure security and transparency, the statement added. Roar Bjærum, senior vice president, head of financial services, Telenor Group and chairman Valyou, said, “Currently, Pakistan receives about $1 billion in home remittances from Malaysia and this Easypaisa-Valyou collaboration is going to change it for the better.” By eliminating intermediary costs, the new remittance service reduces transactional cost for end-users, while the blockchain technology enables both senders and receivers to track their money every step of the way, significantly boosting the service’s efficiency and safety. SBP Governor Tariq Bajwa said at around $20 billion per year, international remittances were important from the perspective of overall macroeconomic stability and their positive spill over in improving lives of millions of families. “Home remittances contributed to over 6 percent in GDP, equivalent to over 50 percent of our trade deficit, 85 percent of exports and over one-third of imports during FY 2017-18,” he added. He said the new blockchain technology based remittance service would complement the SBP’s efforts to promote transfer of remittances through formal financial channels. “This puts Pakistan on the map of very few countries in the world that have launched international remittance using blockchain technology,” he added. Bajwa said he expected the financial sector to take advantage of the current favourable market environment by investing in innovative technologies and product offerings to expand services and broaden access to financial services in the country. Ant Financial Chairman and CEO Eric Jing said, “We’re thrilled to be part of Pakistan’s financial inclusion efforts and we’re dedicated to exploring breakthroughs and applying them to benefit more people in more places.” Telenor Microfinance Bank CEO Shahid Mustafa said, “The international remittance service epitomises the shared vision of Telenor Group and Ant Financial to empower societies by bringing inclusive financial services to the world.”
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