Image: Press conference on ASEAN payment connectivity, Chang Rai, Thailand, April 4, 2019
Singapore blockchain startup EVX Holdings, operating under Everex, has received the green light from Thailand to deploy blockchain technology to facilitate international remittances and establish “payment connectivity” between Thailand and Myanmar. Called the Krungthai and Shwe Remittance project, the initiative involves Krungthai Bank (KTB) from Thailand and Shwe Bank from Myanmar.
At the ASEAN Central Bank Governors’ Meeting held in Chiang Rai, Thailand on April 4, 2019, the central bank governors of Thailand and Myanmar called the project “a milestone for financial inclusion” and said they expected new technologies including blockchain to provide fast and efficient financial services to underserved populations.
“The main objective for Myanmar migrant workers is to send money home to their families. However, on the Myanmar side, banks have limited opening hours,” said U Thein Zaw, the executive vice chairman of Shwe Bank. “With the Everex platform we can overcome the challenges and provide better banking services.”
Everex, a blockchain company specializing in payment solutions including cross-border money transfers, merchant payments and currency exchange, worked alongside KTB and Shwe Bank to develop a service that allows customers to transfer money anywhere in Thailand and anytime with competitive foreign exchange rates via the KTB mobile banking application.
Recipients in Myanmar have options to receive money by home delivery, cash pick up at Shwe Bank branches, or direct deposit to Shwe Bank accounts. The service will be officially piloted in June 2019.
“For the last few years, Everex has been diligently working on developing blockchain powered solutions and cross border transfers,” said Alexi Lane, CEO and founder of Everex. “Now we are very happy that our product will be a part of the joint venture to bring workers and people access to financial services for a better life and a better future.”
The announcement of the partnership between Thailand’s Krungthai Bank, Myanmar’s Shwe bank and Singapore’s Everex was part of a broader set of innovative payment initiatives unveiled at the ASEAN Central Bank Governors’ Meeting by the Bank of Thailand.
Alongside the Krungthai and Shwe Remittance project, the central bank presented several other blockchain projects the country’s financial services companies have initiated with its ASEAN counterparts including the partnership between Bangkok Bank (BBL) and GC Marketing Solutions Company Limited (GCM) from Indonesia on a blockchain trade finance platform, and Krungsri Blockchain Interledger, a new service that allows for real-time international fund transfers for the business sector.
“The ASEAN economic linkages will be strengthened further by adoption of financial technology to expand payment connectivity, especially to facilitate trade, investment, and service flows within our region,” Veerathai Santiprabhob, governor of the Bank of Thailand, said at the event.
“Today, we have witnessed collaborations among banks, nonbanks, and card companies to develop cross-border payment services using modern technologies, ranging from interoperable QR code, blockchain technology, application programming interface (API), and card networks.
“These new services can serve needs of different customer segments; improve efficiency of the regional financial system; facilitate business transactions and international trades; reduce cost of service providers and customers; and enhance financial inclusion for a broad range of ASEAN population.”Read More