Chinese Government Partners With Ali Pay To Launch A Blockchain-Based Bill Payment Platform
China’s Zhejiang province has rolled out the nation’s first blockchain electronic bill platform in association with Alipay. This scheme allows the customers to keep all the records of and bills at one place.
The project was originated by the Zhejiang Provincial Department of Finance which was joined by the Provincial Bureau of Big Data, the Provincial Health and Health Commission, and the Provincial Medical Insurance Bureau. They use Alipay’s payment services and Ant Financial’s (Alipay’s parent company) blockchain technology.
This project is essentially a successor to the test project in Taizhou where Alipay was processing health insurance claims within seconds using a blockchain system. Taizhou Central Hospital issued electronic invoices on the blockchain.
Because the invoices are generated by the hospital and are tamper proof, AliPay doesn’t need to check their authenticity. It could also be used as blockchain-based prescription service. This prevents prescriptions from being re-used, and it automates the process of getting a repeat prescription which usually involves queuing at a hospital.
Notably, in the main comprehensive hospitals in the pilot city of Taizhou, the per-patient visit time has been reduced from 170 minutes to 75 minutes, which marks a drop of nearly 60%. The average number of visits was reduced from 6 to 2, and the queue was reduced 4 times.
Looking at these results, a Zhejiang citizen says:
“I didn’t expect the blockchain to be used for medical treatment. In the future, I will not have to sort out various hospital bills, nor use the second queue to pay the bills. I can pick up the mobile phone directly!”
This platform is available at 11 hospitals which includes top hospitals like Zhejiang Yi, Zhejiang University and Shao Yifu Hospital. After the trial period in the province is completed, this project is estimated to be adopted by over 100 hospitals in the province by the end of the year.
Alibaba has been spearheading the efforts to make blockchain mainstream and have an upper hand in the new technological age.
The group has filed for about 47 different blockchain based patents. They have other blockchain projects like their rice tracking application. They partnered specifically with the municipal government of Wuchang in the Heilongjiang Province and it was created to stop the counterfeit version of Wuchang rice, which is a very well-known brand in the Chinese market.