Finablr, the holding company for money transfer companies Travelex and UAE Exchange, today announced a partnership with payments firm Alipay. In terms of blockchain, the UAE Exchange is a Ripple partner. Today’s deal is for the entire Finablr group to explore collaboration involving the Ant Blockchain Information System. This may not be good news or Ripple fans, but we’ve asked Finablr for more information.
The partnership will expand Alipay’s reach for remittances through Finablr’s global network, spanning over 170 countries. In the first phase, Finablr’s platform has been integrated with Ant Financial’s remittance system, and now the partnership will explore an extension of the remittance service to Ant Financial’s remittance network including Alipay’s e-wallet partners.
In theory, a user of Alipay’s e-wallet partner will be able to send money to another user who is a Finablr customer. The partnership is focused on expanding the reach of remittance services for both the firms while utilising blockchain capabilities of Alipay.
“Using blockchain technology developed by Alipay, we have helped launch a blockchain remittance service between our e-wallet partners AlipayHK and GCash, providing round-the-clock, real-time transfers between Hong Kong and the Philippines,” said Clara Shi, Alipay’s head of the global remittances business. The service was launched a year ago.
The Alipay Philippines example is relevant because China and the Philippines are two of the biggest four remittance countries. For 2019 the World Bank estimates China’s incoming remittances will be $70.3 billion and the Philippines $35.1 billion. India is the leading country at $82.2 billion, and the nation is an important corridor for UAE Exchange.
Finablr and Alipay have plans to explore other business avenues such as digital gifting while driving efficiencies using the Ant Blockchain Information System.
Blockchain for remittance services is a popular use case, as users want faster cross-border payments. Most recently, the Ripple and SBI Holdings joint venture company SBI Ripple Asia partnered to launch a blockchain-based remittance service between Japan and Vietnam.
Earlier this year, Alipay partnered with Telenor Microfinance Bank to enable cross-border remittance service between Pakistan and Malaysia. Ant Financial has a 45% stake in Telenor Microfinance.