One of the Middle East’s biggest money transfer and forex houses has entered an agreement with fintech giant Ripple to enable real-time cross-border payments using the latter’s enterprise blockchain.
With a presence in over 31 countries, the UAE Exchange is among the region’s earliest largest international remittance operators and becomes the latest payments solutions provider to partner San Francisco-based Ripple.
The collaboration will see UAE Exchange join RippleNet, the company’s enterprise blockchain network that sees over 100 members in banks and financial institutions, using Ripple’s SWIFT-replacement product for real-time clearing and settlement of international transactions. RippleNet, unlike the Ripple Consensus Ledger (the company’s public blockchain), does not use Ripple’s native token XRP.
UAE Exchange CEO Promoth Manghat spoke on the importance of being an early mover in adopting the decentralized technology, stating:
“The early adoption of this game-changing technology allows us to offer a competitive service, as it will have an impact on the speed and cost of cross-border transactions. We are proud to deliver the future of payments with Ripple.”
With the implementation, Ripple contends that the foreign exchange giant will be able to facilitate instant international retail payments at ‘competitive rates, speed, transparency and efficiency.’ Based in Abu Dhabi, the remittance operator has already seen Ripple partner the National Bank of Abu Dhabi, the emirate’s largest bank, to launch blockchain-cross border payments. With a significant population of immigrants in the region, the UAE sector is notably among the world’s busiest remittance corridors.
Ripple says it has been paying attention and is keen to focus on the region. The company’s global chief of infrastructure innovation Dilip Rao added:
“We chose to focus on solving inefficiencies in key corridors where payment flows are significant and growing. Adding a market leader like UAE Exchange to RippleNet will bring instant, certain, low-cost payments to the millions of retail customers in the UAE who send money abroad.”
The development comes within days of Ripple announcing a partner in Hong Kong-based LianLian to facilitate cross-border payments to China. In January, Ripple’s XRP-based xRapid saw two international payments providers sign-on for pilot testing with chief executive Brad Garlinghouse pointing toward more partnerships in 2018.
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