Southeast Asia's leading FinTech platform for digital businesses, Xfers, has launched its first blockchain-enabled initiative to further the goal of building an open financial ecosystem to enable financial inclusion in the region. With the launch of StraitsX, its pilot stablecoin initiative powered by Zilliqa, Xfers aims to create a frictionless and transparent payments ecosystem for Southeast Asia.
In January 2019, Xfers obtained the approval for Widely Accepted Stored Value Facility (WA SVF) from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS)--the first digital wallet to do so. As the company continues on its vision of providing last-mile financial services to the region, it boasts an extensive portfolio of clients including digital asset firms Binance Singapore, Coinhako and WoWoo Exchange, as well as merchants serving the underbanked in Indonesia - PayFazz, Porter Indonesia and Tunai Kita. Today, Xfers partners merchants to process over US$150 million every month, as they service a total of over 10 million unique active users every month across Singapore and Indonesia.
Creating an Open Future of Money
Open banking has unlocked greater value in the banking and financial services industry, enabling merchants to provide consumer services such as online savings and payments without having to navigate through traditional banking touchpoints. As a result, consumers have easier access to financial products, and are able to participate in a greater range of activities, such as starting their own business--bringing about financial inclusion in a more cost- and time-efficient manner.
This is especially so in Southeast Asia, where access to traditional banking services may sometimes be difficult outside of urban areas. With over 630 million people calling Southeast Asia home, and a mobile user penetration rate of over 140 percent, the region's digital population makes a promising customer base for digital payments, especially in communities currently underserved by banks.
With the Asian Development Bank predicting digital financial solutions to have significant impact on financial inclusion in Southeast Asia, Xfers is leading the way with the launch of their StraitsX pilot initiative. Starting with XSGD, a token pegged 1:1 to the Singapore Dollar, these stablecoins will increase the level of transparency for transactions, while also reducing friction to accessing financial products. This initiative will be supported by a number of early members, including Binance Singapore, Coinhako, Coinut, Sparrow, Tokenize Xchange and WoWoo Exchange.
"Southeast Asia has a heterogeneous landscape, and Xfers wants to empower individuals and businesses to access financial opportunities regardless of their circumstances," said Tianwei Liu, Co-Founder and CEO, Xfers. "StraitsX demonstrates our willingness to adopt technology to propel our vision of building an open banking infrastructure for the region. With the transparency that blockchain provides, as well as the stablecoins being price-pegged to local fiat currencies, StraitsX aims to be the common ledger for digital assets, payments, fund transfers and eCommerce."
Building Financial Trust via a Distributed Ledger
Creating an open financial ecosystem that fosters financial inclusion requires reliable and trusted innovation. To remove friction and provide greater transparency, Xfers will be leveraging Zilliqa's safe-by-design scripting language Scilla to provide smart contract functionalities.
Built for enterprise use, Zilliqa is a high-performance, high-security blockchain platform renowned for its use of sharding as on-chain solution to preserve trust and enable greater scalability. To date, its blockchain is able to process 2,828 transactions per second. Through this partnership, Zilliqa's proprietary smart contract language, Scilla, will be critical to ensuring the security of the underlying smart contracts of the Xfers stablecoins. Scilla is amenable to formal verification, thus providing enhanced security for assets and transactions on the Zilliqa blockchain.
"We are excited for Xfers as they continue to make inroads into Southeast Asia. Harnessing the features of our enterprise blockchain, Xfers will be able to process a significant increase in user transactions more securely at a scale than other present-day industry blockchain platforms," said Amrit Kumar, President, Zilliqa. "Spurred on by the promise of greater financial inclusion, efficiencies and mobility, Zilliqa is proud to build on our existing partnership with Xfers to deliver on the shared promise of progress."
"Industry players recognise our value, and with us serving over 10 million users every month, we are excited to deliver even more, especially for the underbanked across Southeast Asia," continued Liu.