Telenor Pakistan is a subsidiary of the telecom giant Telenor. Apart from communication services, it is offering micro banking and transaction services in the country. The micro banking arm, Telenor Microfinance Bank (TMB) teamed up with its micro transaction services, EasyPaisa (Easy Money) and Malaysia’s Valyou (another fintech subsidy of Telenor) to offer remittance services to Pakistan.
By using AliPay’s blockchain technology, the collaboration offers easier and faster remittance between the Pakistan and Malaysia. With a USD 1 billion market of remittances coming to Pakistan from Malaysia, this is a huge potential that the collaboration can tap into.
CEO Ant Financial, the company behind AliPay, Eric Jing said, “the new remittance service is one of the examples of how emerging technologies can help countries meet their digital and financial inclusion goals.”
According to the Governor of State Bank of Pakistan, Tariq Bajwa, “home remittances 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.”
For an emerging economy like Pakistan, the sheer volume of remittance plays a huge part in its economy and through the use of blockchain and EasyPaisa, a very popular transaction service in the country, it brings a lot of benefits. The technology offers efficient, faster and secure services that eliminates middlemen and intermediaries, bringing down costs of sending money back home.
With this, Pakistan joins the rank of selected countries that are now using the decentralized ledger technology for cross border remittances. Kuwait’s National Bank is usingRipple’s blockchain for remittences. Japan’s Sompo, an insurance company has partneredwith African BitPesa for digitalization of global remittance services which will its “presence in the international remittance service market and consider the application of this technology to the insurance field.”
Blockchain is increasingly becoming popular for remittances, with reports of even FaceBook developingits own stable coin for online remittance, concentrating on India.