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
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
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.