Unbanked workers in Singapore will soon receive payments through CrossPay, a blockchain-based app produced by InfoCorp Technologies — a company focused on providing finance solutions to the unbanked. With this app, workers will be able to send and receive cashless payments on the blockchain without needing a bank account.
CrossPay: Using the Blockchain Where Banks Fall Short
The mobile app will roll out as a trial for the 16,800 migrant workers in Singapore’s Tuas View Dormitory. Workers will create identities for themselves on CrossPay, and will then be able to send cashless payments on a private blockchain via mobile phone to merchants operating in the Dormitory.
Singapore-based Maybank will settle payments made on CrossPay. The bank signed an agreement with InfoCorp to provide the settlement services, The Business Times reports.
Pending a successful trial in Tuas View, said the Business Times, InfoCorp plans to expand the CrossPay service to its 2000-worker dormitory in Mandai.
InfoCorp chief executive officer Roy Lai told the Business Times that CrossPay’s goal is to fill in a gap between migrant workers and traditional banking.
“[Current] solutions are not suitable for migrant workers as many of them have no experience with banking services,” Lai said, “introducing CrossPay to migrant workers therefore makes sense as it is a solution that specifically caters to their needs.”
MayBank head of global banking Amos Ong echoed that sentiment, telling the Business Times that the bank looked forward to working with InfoCorp.
“We see the potential to work with InfoCorp on serving those with little access to conventional banking services,” Ong told the Business Times.
Will the Blockchain Free the Unbanked?
The Asia-Pacific region of the world has become a prime target for these blockchain payment solutions, given its large population of unbanked, migrant workers. Several projects have been proposed and introduced to the region over the years, all centered around providing cashless payments without needing a bank.
These solutions have ranged from basic exchange services to fully token-based applications. And while none of them have received mainstream-level success thus far, their persistence is a sign of what’s to come in the future of bankless finance.
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Images via The Business Times, InfoCorp Technologies