The financial arm of Alibaba Group, Ant Financial has officially entered into cross-border remittance market to offer cheaper and faster service. Does this mean Ripple will be facing competition from the industry giant?
Alibaba’s affiliate Ant Financial going for faster & cheaper
Alibaba’s financial arm, Ant Financial is introducing a blockchain technology based cross-border remittance service for its AlipayHK Wallet.
Jack Ma, the co-founder of the Alibaba Group stated:
“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.”
During the launch event, Ma shared:
“At the time we wanted to [buy] MoneyGram and overhaul it to help people all over the world solve this issue. 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.”
He further believes that: “The impact of blockchain to people and society will be greater than we can ever imagine.” Ma basically wants to make remitting even 1 cent at no cost, a possibility. According to Ant Financial, it is first of its kind that is currently available only for transfers between Hong Kong and the Philippines. World’s third largest remittance market, it registered an inflow of $33 billion last year.
Eric Jing, the CEO of Ant Financial stated:
“Ant Financial is dedicated to exploring fintech breakthroughs and applying them to benefit more people in more places. This is a new starting point and significant step forward in accelerating Alipay’s pace to promote tech for good and financial inclusion globally.”
Also, read: Ripple Benefits Not Yet Felt by Western Union
Competition for Ripple?
AlipayHK in collaboration with GCash will be providing the service while having Standard Chartered act as the settlement bank.
The users of Hong Kong version of Alipay wallet, AlipayHK will now be able to transfer money to GCash users within seconds. GCash is a mobile money and wallet service provided by Globe Telecom, a Filipino telecommunications company with about eight million users in the country.
“We believe that for overseas Filipinos, sending money home to their family’s GCash mobile wallet will soon be the norm,” commented Anthony Thomas, CEO of Mynt, GCash operator. Ant Financial has reported that during the trial period which will last three months, transaction fees will be waived. Ant financial is limiting to a particular territory but with a giant like Alibaba associated, it won’t be long or surprising if they will move to other parts of the world as well.
As for Ripple, it has been working with banks all over the world to reduce the time and money spent in transferring the funds. It’s products like xRapid and xCurrent focus on global saving in the cross-border remittance market.
How do you think the entry of a such a giant into the cross-border remittance market with blockchain will transform it? Share your thoughts with us!