Alipay and Telenor launch Pakistan-Malaysia cross-border payments service

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Daniel Webber
Daniel Webber
Founder & CEO
Daniel is Founder and CEO of FXcompared and has 18 years of experience in the international finance world focusing on cross-border payments, technology and the property sectors. Daniel is widely… Read more
  • The new service will make it easier for Pakistanis in Malaysia to send money to their families back home
  • Based on recent numbers, there are 10,000 migrant workers from Pakistan living in the Southeast Asian nation
  • Telenor will be using Alipay’s blockchain technology developed by Ant Financial

Telenor Microfinance Bank Ltd. and Valyou Sdn Bhd will be using Alipay’s platform for its cross-border payments service between Pakistan and Malaysia. The Telenor Group subsidiary announced the development on Tuesday, noting that the service will allow users to send payments at affordable overseas transfer rates.

Telenor’s new service is intended to make it easier and faster for Pakistani migrants in Malaysia to transfer money internationally. There are currently 10,000 Pakistani workers in the country, but an estimated 50,000 visit the Southeast Asian nation per annum.

According to reports, Telenor’s remittance service will target Malaysia’s underbanked communities, allowing them to send money through their mobile phones or through a website. This will increase economic engagement, observers say, and will be good for the working class. Malaysia’s working class does not have much access to brick and mortar banks, reports note, and Telenor, through its partnership with Alipay, will be giving them access to banking services.

“At around USD 20 billion per year, international remittances are important from the perspective of overall macroeconomic stability and their positive spillover in improving lives of millions of families”, said Tariq Bajwa, the governor of the State Bank of Pakistan in a statement. “Home remittances contributed to over 6 percent in GDP, equivalent to over 50 percent of our trade deficit”, he added.

The use of blockchain technology will not only speed up the process of sending money between the two nations but will also make transactions more efficient. Traditional remittance services usually take hours or even days before funds are delivered to the recipient’s account, experts note, while Telenor’s blockchain-based service will only need minutes to get the job done.

The company says that money transfers will be more affordable for consumers because the system eliminates middlemen. This, according to Telenor, will reduce transaction costs.

Blockchain technology utilises an encrypted ledger. This shared ledger embeds all transactions made in the network and is said to be tamper proof. Roar Bjærum, the Senior Vice President at Telenor Financial Services of Telenor Group, said that the system is both swift and transparent. He describes it as a one of a kind service that “will redefine international money transfer in the country".

“Currently, Pakistan receives about USD 1 billion in home remittances from Malaysia and this Easypaisa-Valyou collaboration is going to change it for the better”, he added.

The development comes at a time when Pakistan is working on improving its own financial system. The Pakistani government introduced a five-year plan for financial inclusion with the aim to improve financing and banking access for the working class.

“The new remittance service is one of the examples of how emerging technologies can help countries meet their digital and financial inclusion goals”, said Eric Jing, Ant Financial’s Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.

Find out more about the newest developments in the remittance industry here.

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