Remittance Transfers Easier Now with Bangladesh’s First Blockchain Remittance Service

Ariyana A. Khan

After pioneering country’s first-ever blockchain LC transaction last month, the multinational lender achieved this new feat which will streamline the process of sending remittances from Malaysia to Bangladesh.

What is Blockchain?

This may be a relatively new term to many. Blockchain technology has been gaining much momentum in recent years. In simple words, it is a chain of records stored in the forms of blocks that are controlled by no single authority. By using cryptocurrency, or digital currency, to facilitate customer-to-customer transactions in real-time, it allows the security and privacy of transactions to be maintained without the help of third-parties. 

Once some data has been recorded inside the blockchain, it becomes complicated to change it due to the use of digital signatures that is unique to each block.

All That You Need To Know About This New Venture

To deliver this service, Standard Chartered Bank Ltd. has partnered with bKash, the country’s leading mobile financial service, and Ant Group, an affiliate company of the Chinese Alibaba Group as well as one of the world’s digital financial service providers. Valyou, a Malaysian digital wallet, and online payment platform, is also a partner in this initiative. It is in the last stages of commercial testing and will be launched in a full-fledged manner soon, StanChart announced in a press release.

StanChart is acting as the fund settlement bank and regulatory approval-holder for the service. A settlement bank refers to a customer’s bank where payments or transactions finally settle and clear for customer use. 

Ant Group is supplying the blockchain technology for the remittance process, which will enable money transfers from Valyou to bKash to be made directly. This integration simplifies the process and significantly improves the speed of delivery as well as information security.

Malaysia houses a majority of Bangladeshi migrant workers, and this service will “save cost and time without compromising safety and security of remittance transactions”, according to Prasanna Rao, CEO of Valyou. Blockchain transactions are relatively cheaper than other traditional methods.

Kamal Quadir, CEO of bKash said, “This partnership will give seamless and uninterrupted remittance-sending experience to the Bangladeshi expatriates there who can now send money from their digital wallets in Malaysia to a bKash account in Bangladesh through Standard Chartered Bank.”

The service has come to be after six to seven months of work put behind it, which involved securing several approvals from the central bank to introduce it.

“I also express my gratitude to officials of the Bangladesh Bank for their extraordinary support in acceding approvals,” said Naser Ezaz Bijoy, CEO of Standard Chartered Bangladesh.

A similar service is also available for the transfer of remittances between Hong Kong and the Philippines, and Malaysia and Pakistan.

Besides this service Standard Chartered, has plans to expand the use of blockchain technology for cross-border exports and imports. 

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