A man scans a QR code to buy coffee with e-wallet in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Aug. 8, 2018. (Xinhua)
BEIJING, April 22 (Xinhua) -- In Malaysia, which is located on the coast of Indian Ocean, mobile payment has quietly brought lifestyle changes to local people. In 2017, Touch 'n Go (TnG), the major payment service provider in Malaysia, established strategic partnership with Ant Financial. In May 2018, they jointly launched TnGD, a localized e-wallet.
Technology empowerment makes mobile payment go global
TnGD not only provides functions such as mobile phone recharging, water and electricity payment, money transfer and air tickets purchasing, but also provides a new attempt for local people to swipe the QR code to take subway, making Malaysia the second country after China in doing so.
Besides the land and marine Belt and Road, China also provides mobile payment technologies along the "Ice Silk Road".
In 2016, Finland's ePassi helped merchants in Finland and neighboring countries gain access to Alipay. In late 2018, Vipps, the largest e-wallet in Norway, helped more than 30 merchants in Bergen, "the capital of European culture", access to Alipay. Currently, with the support of Alipay’s technology, Vipps and ePassi, the two leading e-wallets in Northern Europe serving nearly 130,000 European merchants, will be interconnected.
With the model of "technology output and partners", Alipay has nurtured local "Alipays" in Pakistan, Bangladesh, Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Republic of Korea. Today, Alipay and the local ones are serving over one billion global users.
Using digital technology to deliver inclusive finance
In 2005, the UN initiated the concept of "inclusive finance", which champions the principles of equal opportunity and business sustainability, and seeks to offer appropriate and effective financial services for all levels and groups of the society in need of financial services with affordable costs.
Currently, based on Alipay and other products and services, Ant Financial is using Internet, big data, cloud computing, and other technologies to offer all-dimensional inclusive finance services for small and micro businesses, individual entrepreneurs and consumers, such as credit, wealth management, insurance, and credit investigation.
According to the data released by the World Bank, in 2017, still about 1.7 billion people around the world had no bank accounts, mostly in developing countries. To bring more equal opportunities to the world, and enable global consumers and small and micro businesses to enjoy safe and convenient inclusive finance services, Ant Financial has brought its long-term experience in digital inclusive finance to countries and regions along the Belt and Road.
In March 2018, Alipay entered a partnership with Easypaisa, the largest e-wallet in Pakistan. Founded to solve imbalanced development of financial facility, Easypaisa is still at the stage of functional machine, similar to the development model of Alipay in China at its initial stage, though its users can have e-wallet and transfer accounts after on-line registration and SMS confirmation.
After partnering with Alipay, Easypaisa has not only upgraded to the era of smartphone, but also realized on-line and off-line QR code scanning and microfinance. It is also worth mentioning that, during Single’s Day global online shopping spree on November 11, 2018, Easypaisa users in Pakistan shared the joy of shopping for the first time via Daraz, the largest e-commerce platform in South Asia.
In the future, Alipay will work to serve two billion global consumers, create jobs for 100 million people, and help 10 million small and micro businesses make profits.
Blockchain technology makes cross-border remittance possible
The Philippines is a major labor exporter of the world and a large number of Philippine people are working across the globe. Each month, their families rely on their overseas remittance for livelihood. For traditional ways of remittance, a remitter has to queue up at a remittance point and it takes a long time for the money to enter the account. Grace has worked in Hong Kong for more than 20 years. Like most other labors here, she wants a faster, safer and cheaper way to send her hard-earned money back home.
On June 25, 2018, the first blockchain-based e-wallet cross-border remittance service in the world was launched in Hong Kong. Users of AlipayHK can transfer money to Philippine Gcash via blockchain technology. That day, it took Grace only three seconds to send a sum of money to her family via blockchain cross-border remittance technology, while previously it took 10 minutes or even several days. Grace was excited at the amazing speed, and marveled "Cool" to her families in the Philippines via the camera.
Like the Philippines, Pakistan is also a large labor exporter, with many Pakistanis working in Malaysia and other countries or regions. How to realize fast, efficient cross-border remittance is also an issue concerning them.
On January 8, 2019, the first blockchain e-wallet cross-border remittance program supported by Ant Financial's blockchain technology was launched. Compared with traditional remittance, blockchain offers a digital remittance channel connecting remittance service providers of Malaysia and mobile payment providers of Pakistan. In this way, Pakistanis working in Malaysia can remit money to local mobile payment platforms of Pakistan via designated remittance service providers in a faster, safer way.
With mobile payment, inclusive finance, blockchain and other technologies, Chinese enterprises are sharing the key underlying architecture and risk control experience with partners along the Belt and Road, seeking to bring the convenience of FinTech and dividends in the digital era to more people. (Contributed by Qu Xiang, Zhang Yadong, Lin Hao, edited by Niu Huizhe)