Chinese tech giants Tencent Group and Alibaba have reportedly launched remittance services that would enable cheap and easy money transfers for workers from Indonesia and the Philippines. As per reliable sources, both the companies have taken the first step towards a global remittance business that transfers over $600 billion across the world annually.
The launch of remittance services is part of the firm’s extensive efforts to take their wildly successful payments applications, WeChat Pay and Alipay, overseas.
With a growing population of 600 million who mostly don’t have a bank account, Southeast Asia serves as an ultimate battleground for the Asian Tech giants and their U.S rivals. Ant Financial, Alibaba’s financial affiliate, released a statement in which it termed its Hong Kong remittance initiative as a starting point and an important step towards accelerating its pace to promote financial inclusion globally.
According to sources familiar with the development, Tencent’s WeChat, which has a good presence within China, has strived to gain traction beyond Chinese tourist destinations. As a result, it is more prudent in its goals for We Remit services in Hong Kong.
Both the firms have reportedly teamed up with EMQ which is a fintech startup based in Hong Kong and is equipped with regulatory approvals and bank partnerships throughout Southeast Asia and other places.
Currently, Tencent’s We Remit doesn’t link up to mobile phone wallet. Instead, recipients can collect their funds from banks or pawnshops, as they’ve traditionally done through services from MoneyGram & Western Union.
Meanwhile, the new service can be a revelation for senders. Some workers claimed that they’ve been spending their off days waiting at banks and remittance shops in Hong Kong for years to send money home, which won’t be the case with the new services.
In addition, WeChat and Alipay are completely free of charge at least for the time being, which happens to be a huge advantage for many. Eventually, the companies hope that its existing user base might be persuaded to try out their other services as well, cite sources.