Pakistan based Telenor recently announced they are about to release blockchain-powered cross-border remittance service, powered by Alipay.
Telenor Pakistan (Pvt.) Limited is the second largest cellular and digital services provider in Pakistan, owned by Telenor Group, which is an international provider of voice, data, content and mobile communication services in 8 markets worldwide in Scandinavia and Asia.
Telenor Microfinance Bank (TMB) offers Easypaisa, Pakistan's first mobile financial services platform launched in 2009, which is also the first and only GSMA Mobile Money Certified service. Easypaisa has since developed into the largest branchless banking service in Pakistan in terms of agent network, active accounts, and transaction value, according to the State Bank of Pakistan.
The remittance services will be provided by Telenor’s Easypaisa with a partnership with Valyou which is a FinTech firm that provides solutions to the underbanked communities. The plan was announced at an event in Islamabad which was attended by State Bank of Pakistan Governor Tariq Bajwa.
He commented on this by saying:
“This puts Pakistan on the map of very few countries in the world that have launched International Remittance using blockchain technology. At around $ 20 billion USD per year, international remittances are important from the perspective of overall macroeconomic stability and their positive spillover in improving lives of millions of families. Home remittnces contributed to over 6% in GDP, equivalent to over 50% of our trade deficit, 85% of exports and over one-third of imports during FY 2017-18.”
Eric Jing, chairman and CEO of Ant Financial, said:
“The remittance service is one of the examples of how emerging technologies can help countries meet their digital and financial inclusion goals. We’re thrilled to be part of Pakistan’s financial inclusion efforts and we’re dedicated to exploring breakthroughs and applying them to benifit more people in more places.”
Recently, Alibaba acquired Daraz.pk from venture capital company Rocket Internet, and is tipped to be expanding its footprint in the country.
Its financial muscle and experience will help it against competition that includes the likes of PayPal of 1link, Fonepay, and Avanza Premier Payment Services (APPS) that have also entered the digital payments space with investments to the tune of millions of dollars.