Alipay, London-based Finablr partner on cross-border payments and blockchain

2 min read
An Alipay sticker shows consumers how to pay on mobile phones. (Image credit: TechNode/Shi Jiayi)

Chinese fintech giant Alipay is partnering with London-listed payments and foreign exchange firm for cross-border remittance services and blockchain applications, the duo announced on Wednesday.

Why it matters: The move, which is expected to expand the reach of remittance services for both companies, is not the first Ant Financial has made in the UK this year.

  • Ant Financial acquired London-based payments firm Worldfirst after its acquisition of US money transfer company MoneyGram last year fell through over US national security concerns.
  • The partnership provides a boost to Ant Financial’s existing blockchain capability.

“We are excited to partner with Finablr for global remittances, as we continue to explore new ways to apply our technology in order to benefit more people around the world… For example, 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.”

—Clara Shi, head of Alipay’s global remittances business

Details: The latest partnership aims to extend the scope of collaboration to Ant Financial’s remittance network partners in China and other countries, Finablr said.

  • The first stage of the partnership, which includes the integration of the Finablr platform with Ant Financial’s remittance system, has been completed.
  • The two companies will also explore other areas of collaboration, including digital gifting as well as driving efficiencies through Ant Financial’s Ant Blockchain Information System.
  • Finablr said it is “one of the first global cross-border remittance partners” for Alipay.

Context: Both Ant Financial and Finablr have adopted blockchain technology for real-time cross-border money transfers.

  • Ant Financial will benefit from Finablr’s blockchain-based money transfer capabilities. Finablr’s remittance payment system is powered by RippleNet developed by US-based payment service Ripple, the firm behind top cryptocurrency XRP.
  • Blockchain-based money transfers are faster and more secure.
  • In October last year, Travelex and Swych, two brands under Finablr, launched a cross-border shopping solution for Alipay’s largest rival WeChat Pay.
  • Alipay is said to serve more than 1.2 billion people globally. The payment firm has been expanding its cross-border services for Chinese travelers abroad as well as overseas customers shopping on Chinese sites. It now supports 27 currencies.