Beyond Pilots – Two Remittance Firms Are Now Live on RippleNet
Ripple is growing in the Middle East, as two more remittance processors–UAE Exchange and Unimoni–go live on the company’s RippleNet payments network. The latest development will facilitate almost real-time cross-border transactions to Thailand, with future plans to extend it to more countries. Is Ripple’s pilot run converting into real-life payment solutions?
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Ripple Tech Offers Instant Payment to Thailand
As reported by Trade Arabia, Ripple’s blockchain-based remittance network RippleNet is now available to UAE Exchange and Unimoni customers sending money to Thailand. The service comes live almost a year after the UAE-based remittance firm Finablr, the parent company of both processors, first announced its partnership with Ripple.
Into the mix is Thailand’s third largest bank, Siam Commercial Bank, the strategic partner responsible for processing the money remitted via RippleNet into the country.
Commenting on the development, Navin Gupta, managing director of Ripple’s South Asia, Middle East, and North Africa division said:
“We are excited to see this collaboration go live, allowing customers in any part of the world to send live payments to Thailand instantly and efficiently.”
RippleNet Growing… But Who Benefits?
While the news highlights that Ripple’s payment network will facilitate ‘real-time’ cross-border transactions seamlessly and securely, it does not mention whether UAE Exchange and Unimoni customers will benefit from lower transactions fees.
Group CEO at UAE Exchange and Unimoni Promoth Manghat said:
“The adoption of blockchain opens up the considerable potential to streamline remittances and provide a frictionless, fast and secure payments experience.”
UAE Exchange and Unimoni are both network brands of Finablr, an Emirati payments and foreign exchange company that processes over 150 million transactions annually. Finablr also houses several other brands, including Travelex, Ditto, Remit2India, Swych, and Xpress Money.
For now, the blockchain-based remittance corridor will only be open to Thailand, but is expected to encompass more countries in the near future.
Beyond the Pilots
Despite the skepticism about Ripple’s tech, interest among banks and payment providers worldwide has been consistently increasing. Recently, RippleNet celebrated onboarding its 200th client.
While most financial institutions are in pilot phase, a number of them are planning to integrate one of the many solutions that the San Francisco-based company offers.
Most recently, the National Bank of Kuwait launched a cross-border remittance service to Jordan using Ripple’s payment protocol. Moreover, UK-based Euro Exim Bank plans to integrate Ripple’s xRapid payment solution–that uses its native token XRP–to minimize liquidity costs for international payments.
Ripple Faces Strong Competition
However, the blockchain-based payment solution provider could face competition from players old and new alike. International payments powerhouse SWIFT has begun its global payments innovation (GPI) initiative, ensuring same-day cross-border transfers with end-to-end transaction tracking. Reportedly, more than 450 banks have espoused SWIFT’s GPI technology.
While Ripple’s tech is far more advanced, SWIFT has a key advantage of serving over 11,000 financial institutions.
Apart from that, a number of central banks are piloting state-owned cryptocurrencies for cross-border transactions. Recently, UAE and Saudi Arabia partnered to pilot a common digital currency dubbed Aber.
Will Ripple be able to compete with giant payment facilitator SWIFT? Share your views in the comments section below.
Images via Pixabay