Major FinTech payments firm Ripple is expanding to India with a new office in the country’s business capital, Mumbai.
San Francisco-based Ripple has always been about introducing banks to blockchain technology in order to facilitate instant global money transfers. In sticking to those goals, the prominent venture-backed FinTech startup is now opening an office in India, a major developing economy that is undergoing a transformation into a digital society.
In an announcement today, Ripple revealed details of its expansion into India with a new office in the city of Mumbai. Former banking executive Navin Gupta will lead operations in the country, with multiple decades of experience in global banks including HSBC and Citibank.
In statements, Gupta noted:
India is the largest recipient of corporate and retail remittances worldwide, totaling close to $71 billion…Ripple’s instant, cost-effective blockchain-powered payments can be a transformative component of India’s economy, helping bring the many who have limited access to payments services into the fold.
India is undergoing an unprecedented digitization in finance following a cash ban that rendered nearly 90% of banknotes obsolete overnight in November last year. Under the ‘Digital India’ programme, the country’s ruling government at the center announced the ‘Cashless India’ initiative to help the country’s society embrace digital payments, banking and finance while moving away from cash.
In 2012, Ripple developed the Ripple Consensus Ledger (RCL), an enterprise-ready public blockchain geared specifically for banks and financial institutions to process cross-border payments. Ripple’s native XRP token powers the RCL and is currently valued at a market cap of $8.5 billion. In May, Ripple unveiled a strategy to make its blockchain ‘more secure, efficient and decentralized’ than bitcoin. To improve the XRP token’s liquidity, Ripple committed to placing 55 billion XRP in escrow by the end this year.
Ripple’s solutions have already been implemented by two Indian private banks – Axis Bank and Yes Bank. As reported earlier, Axis Bank initially trialed Ripple’s blockchain for money transfers in late 2016. Earlier this year, Axis revealed it was working on incorporating the technology to cross-border remittances.
“Given its status as the fastest-growing major economy in the world and the top market for remittances, India is a very important market that is ripe for payments innovation,” stated Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse at the time.
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