RippleNet, the blockchain-based global payment network of Ripple, is set to increase its footprint in the Middle East with a United Arab Emirates-based remittance firm set to unveil cross-border payments using the technology.
According to Reuters, remittance firm UAE Exchange will roll out RippleNet-powered cross-border remittance services to Asia in the first quarter of 2019 in partnership with other financial institutions operating in the region.
“We expect to go live with Ripple by Q1, 2019 with one or two Asian banks. This is for remittances to start with, from across the globe into Asia,” the CEO of UAE Exchange, Promoth Manghat, said.
Asia is a lucrative market with regards to remittances owing to its large population working abroad. The United Arab Emirates (UAE), on the other hand, is one of the countries that boasts one of the highest percentages of expatriates relative to the native population. A significant number of these expats hail from Asian countries.
When UAE Exchange joined RippleNet in February this year, the global head of Infrastructure innovation at Ripple, Dilip Rao, buttressed this point noting the ready market waiting to be tapped in the UAE:
“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.”
Though Ripple and UAE Exchange did not name the partnering financial institutions, it could be any of the over 100 member banks and financial institutions that have joined RippleNet in the recent past. In Asia, among the most recent banks to join the enterprise blockchain network of Ripple is Malaysia’s Commerce International Merchant Bankers (CIMB) Group, the fifth biggest bank in Southeast Asia by assets.
Just like in the case of UAE Exchange, CIMB Group joined RippleNet to enhance cross-border payments. While CIMB Group already had an existing remittance service known as SpeedSend, incorporating Ripple’s technology is expected to extend the service to the rest of Southeast Asia.
“CIMB’s network already spans 15 countries, nearly 800 branches and offers SpeedSend–one of the best solutions in the ASEAN region. Now, by integrating Ripple’s blockchain technology, they will enable their customers to send vital funds to family, friends and loved ones more efficiently,” the CEO of Ripple, Brad Garlinghouse, said at the time as CCN reported.
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