Singapore Tests Blockchain Payments for 19,000 Unbanked Migrants

A Singapore bank has signed an agreement which will see Blockchain payments help up to 19,000 migrants transact without banking access.

As local news outlet Business Times reports Wednesday, Maybank Singapore will leverage native startup InfoCorp Technologies’ CrossPay network to allow migrants in a giant dormitory to pay for purchases digitally.

CrossPay uses Blockchain for storing consumer identities and includes a private platform for making payments. At the other end, Maybank will settle the final amount with dormitory operator TS Group.

The migrant workers in the first site number 16,800, with a further 2,000 potential users due to come on board at a smaller site in Mandai later.

Discussing the move, InfoCorp CEO Roy Lai said the value of Blockchain lies in allowing those who could not afford online banking to transact securely.

“(Banking) solutions are not suitable for migrant workers as many of them have no experience with banking services,” he explained.

“Introducing CrossPay to migrant workers, therefore, makes sense as it is a solution that specifically caters to their needs."

Migrant specific applications for Blockchain are gaining traction internationally. In September, Finland announced a partnership with local fintech startup MONI to issue Blockchain debit cards to the country’s incoming refugees.

There, too, immutable identity and payment tracking capabilities were a key attraction.

A CrossPay trial in Singapore meanwhile is set to show results in Q4 this year, with a fuller rollout in due course.

“We see the potential to work with InfoCorp on serving those with little access to conventional banking services," Maybank’s head of global banking Amos Ong added.

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