Pakistan's Telenor Microfinance Bank has introduced a cross-border remittance service powered by blockchain technology from China's Ant Financial.
The service is the result of a partnership between the bank and Malaysian remittance specialist Valyou, both of which are owned by Norwegian telco Telenor Group.
Customers of TMB's Easypaisa mobile banking service will be able to make real-time money transfers between the two countries. Currently, about $1 billion a year is sent from Malaysia to Pakistan.
The partners say that by eliminating intermediary costs, the new remittance service reduces transaction 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.
Ant's Alipay unit is also waving transaction fees during a one-year trial period.
"The new 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 benefit more people in more places," says Eric Jing, CEO, Ant Financial.