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Ripple making serious remittance inroads with Middle East banks

As long as regional expats keep sending money to their families, as long as Ripple will thrive

SABB and IndusInd are working with Ripple to develop sophisticated payment solutions Ripple’s blockchain technology enables Saudi Arabian customers to conduct transactions to India in an instant UAE transfers to India made up 36.7% of the remittance total, Pakistan 8.8% and the Philippines 6.9%

Ripple, the payments focused DLT network, has partnered with several financial and non-financial institutions across the globe, but recently,  it is Middle East banking companies that are looking to explore blockchain for payment solutions using XRP or xRapid.

India and Saudi

In a recently concluded event towards the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, Ripple’s Managing Director of the Region and South Asia, Navin Gupta  said Saudi Arabian British Bank (SABB) and IndusInd, have been successfully working with Ripple to develop sophisticated payment solutions for the Indo-Arab corridor.

“Customers can enjoy the benefit of Ripple’s blockchain tech delivering transparent and real-time payments from KSA to India,” he said.

In 2018 alone, about $73 billion was sent to India in global remittance, which makes it an extremely important market for Ripple.

SABB Head of Global Liquidity and Cash Management, Ghada Al Jarbou said that despite the huge size of the bank, it hasn’t been able to penetrate global remittance, and “Ripple would help it do just that.”

MENA and Ripple 

SBI CEO Yoshitaka Kitao spoke about the impact that Ripple has and how it has been actively aiming to work with Arab countries and other regions in the MENA.

The remittance corridor will leverage Ripple’s blockchain technology to enable Saudi Arabian customers to conduct transactions to India in an instant. The bank’s official Twitter handle had added:

“SABB signs a partnership agreement with Ripple Digital remittance technology to launch the international instant Remittance service with Blockchain technology…”

Here are some banks showing interest

Right now, more than fifty financial institutions in the Middle East have declared their interest in Ripple’s xRapid and XRP. This is because xRapid is faster and more efficient than the traditional cross-border remittance method. According to the XRP news on Today’s Gazette, major banks in the Middle East are willing to use Ripple’s xRapid technology.

Transactions on Ripple’s xRapid are fast and efficient. Most of the banks that are considering xRapid and XRP are current using SWIFT. Ripple’s primary purpose is to overtake SWIFT as the leading provider of cross-border remittance services in the world.

The UAE is no slacker

One of the largest remittance firms in the United Arab Emirates, UAE Exchange, has worked with Ripple to launch blockchain-based payments to Asia by the first quarter of 2019.

According to a report from Reuters, the firm’s CEO Promoth Manghat said he expects to go live with support from “one or two banks in Asia” using blockchain-based payments network RippleNet.

With a large number of Asian workers in the UAE, that corridor accounts for the largest portion of its global remittance flow. According to a local news report in May, transfers to India made up 36.7% of the remittance total, those to Pakistan 8.8% and the Philippines accounted for 6.9%.

UAE Exchange says on its website that it is associated with over 140 banks and has a presence in 31 countries, yet it’s taking blockchain adoption slowly.  

Last year, migrant workers sent $256 billion to their families in the Asia-Pacific region alone, according to the latest United Nations’ International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) report.

And according to World Bank projections, global remittances are expected to grow to $642 billion by end of this year.