Alibaba's Ant Financial to Launch Blockchain Remittance Service

Ricardo Esteves

Ricardo Esteves has seen business and economics through many lenses. He joined the Financial Services Industry in 2009, and has been a financial journalist since 2011. He holds a degree in Business Administration and has experience producing real-time news, from both buy-side and sell-side, as well as for retail traders, brokers and service providers. Esteves' work has appeared in a variety of online publications including FX Street and FinanceFeeds.

ANT Financial

Alibaba’s Ant Financial to Launch Blockchain Remittance Service

July 1, 2018
AlibabaAnt Financial, the financial services arm of Alibaba Group formerly known as AliPay, is about to launch a blockchain-based cross-border remittance service developed in-house. The first phase of the service will power international payments between Hong Kong and the Philippines through a partnership between AlipayHK and GCash.
AliPay’s partner banking institution Standard Chartered will act as the settlement bank. Three parties will oversee the transaction and act in parallel over a shared ledger.
Jennifer Tan, Chief Executive Officer of Alipay Payment Services (HK), said the cross-border remittance service will provide real-time money transfers at a competitive exchange rate with much lower transaction fees. These fees will be further waived during an initial three-month trial period.
“What used to be a long process of physically going to a remittance booth, queuing in line for hours and filling out forms, is now easily and securely done over the mobile phone in just a few seconds”, said Tan.
Jack Ma, CEO and co-founder of Alibaba Group, aims to completely disrupt international payments services by allowed 1 cent transfers at almost no cost.
Jack Ma, CEO and co-founder of Alibaba Group
Jack Ma, CEO and co-founder of Alibaba Group

“At the time we wanted to [buy] MoneyGram and overhaul it to help people all over the world solve this issue,” he said. “Due to reasons from the US our deal with MoneyGram did not succeed, so I said, ‘Let’s make one better [than MoneyGram]’ that uses the most advanced technology”, Jack Ma commented.

Ma, a Chinese business magnate with a net worth of $42 billion, according to Forbes, also explained how different is distributed ledger technology, which is capable of completely disrupt our societies, to Bitcoin, which he considers to potentially be a speculative bubble.
“Blockchain technology could change our world more than people imagine. Bitcoin, however, could be a bubble […] “Traditional financial institutions serve 20 percent of people and make 80 percent of profits. New financial institutions should service 80 percent of people, and make 20 percent of profit.”

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