Ripple Inks Partnership With South Korean Payment Provider, GME Remittance

Ripple Labs Inc has announced a partnership with GME Remittance, one of the leading companies in South Korea.

GME Remittance Joins RippleNet

The partnership would enable GME Remittance to use Ripple’s global financial network, RippleNet, to enable faster remittance payments to Thailand.

GME Remittance aims to connect with RippleNet customers to expand into additional remittance corridors across the region and globally.The collaboration was established through SBI Ripple Asia, a joint venture between SBI Holdings and Ripple.

By joining RippleNet, GME Remittance is now connected to Siam Commercial Bank (SCB), Thailand’s oldest bank and Ripple’s long-time partner.

According to the COO of GME Remittance, Subash Chandra Poudel, Ripple was chosen as a partner because of the benefits RippleNet offers.

Poudel said the team is already benefiting from RippleNet’s privileges. For instance, RippleNet tracks transactions at every step of the process, and this he said makes it easy to send money across borders with speed and transparency.

Emi Yoshikawa, Vice President of Corporate Strategy and Operations at Ripple, believes that partnerships with providers like GME Remittance would help deliver good customer experiences while accelerating their expansion into new markets.

With this move, GME Remittance joins an existing list of Korean financial institutions and money transfer companies who have pitched their tent with Ripple.

Ripple Increasing Adoption Of Services In Asian Region

Ripple has been particular about expanding and increasing the adoption of its services this year. To this end, the San Francisco-based firm has formed several partnerships, especially in the Asia Pacific region.

According to Ripple, the region is one of its fastest-growing areas, with transactions growing 130% year-over-year.

Last month, Ripple announced a collaboration with Japan’s SBI Remit and Philippines-based firm Coins.ph. The partnership was formed to launch RippleNet’s first live On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) service implementation in Japan.

Ripple has also made other moves to expand its ODL service in the Asian region, like acquiring a 40% stake in cross-border payments firm Tranglo.

Since this partnership with Ripple, Tranglo has continued to expand its services significantly. The company recently received approval from the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to provide account issuance, domestic money transfer, and e-money issuance services.

Through the latest approvals, Tranglo will be able to enhance its payment function in different countries, including the Philippines, Indonesia, and others.

Ripple has also previously partnered with fintech company Novatti Group to expand the reach of its ODL service. Novatti was brought in to deploy the ODL Service via RippleNet to make instant, cross-border payments. The collaboration was also focused on improving remittances between Australia and the Philippines through Filipino-owned remittance service provider iRemit.

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Author: Jimmy Aki

RippleNet Member, Coins.ph, to Leverage UnionBank’s New Philippine Remittance Network

  • UnionBank located in the Philippines to roll out an extensive cash-out network to facilitate remittance in the region.
  • This will now extend their reach to service the Filipinos in remote areas with almost zero access to financial amenities.

News has emerged that Philippines-based UnionBank will soon roll out an extensive remittance Network across the jurisdiction. The announcement on Tuesday reveals that the network will host over 11,000 remittance counters spread all over the Philippine Islands.

This will extend their reach as they are set to service unbanked rural-based residents that may not necessarily be in the proximity to financial services. The counters will be an endpoint for their banking services offering mobile support to a full cash-out hub.

Extend Collaboration with RippleNet’s Member

In a bid to align themselves to their new objective, they have elongated their collaboration efforts with Coins.Ph, a mobile remittance company, doubling as a crypto exchange, also operating within the Philippines jurisdiction.

Coins.Ph, which onboarded RippleNet in August 2018, leverages Blockchain technology and XRP to streamline Filipino cross-border money transfer systems offering instant settlements being received in the local currency. Coins.ph recently joined the Open Payments Coalition along with Ripple to help create PayID.

Meanwhile, XRP is currently ranked 4th by Coin360 and is trading at $0.189613, enjoying a trading volume of $186,147,156 in the last 24 hours. With a market cap of $8,386,285,985 there are currently 44,257,803,618 XRP in circulation as per this article.

Similarly, other local-based remittance platforms: Dragonpay, Cebuana, Lhuillier, LBC, PeraHub, and Palawan Express have onboarded UnionBank’s Network. They all fall under the regulatory purview of Philippines’ central bank – Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.

UnionBank’s President and CEO, Edwin Bautista, has highlighted how the Covid-19 pandemic has made it essential to transition to the new digital era seamlessly. He has cited that the cash-out initiative is one of the ways the bank has displayed its willingness to embrace financial inclusion in the region.

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Author: Lujan Odera

Ripple Gains Praise From US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau For Remittance Service

Ripple and XRP’s remittance potential in cross-border transfers has been recognized by the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

According to a CFPB paper from May 11, the bureau responsible for providing the financial sector’s US consumers has been researching the remittance market’s new trends. Furthermore, it has been focusing on the continued expansion and growth of partnerships developed by digital asset companies such as Ripple.

XRP for Settling Cross-Border Transfers

In the same paper, the CFPB mentioned that XRP could be used for cross-border transfers. Also, Ripple’s products can give credit unions and banks exact information on how much remittance transfers’ recipients are going to receive before they’re even being sent anything.

The platform for global payments innovation (GPI) from SWIFT was mentioned in the paper too. This platform’s purpose is to speed up remittance by using the infrastructure banks from all over the world prefer to use.

SWIFT said it was considering using blockchain rails for its GPI solution ever since 2019, yet no update on this matter has been provided yet.

Ripple Pushes for XRP Adoption

In spite of showing support for Ripple, the CFPB doesn’t seem too enthusiastic about crypto company’s push for widespread adoption of the XRP. It concluded that any new solutions would most likely not eliminate the reliance on their correspondent banking network, as this what the market players’ feedback and the agency’s estimations have revealed.

Despite this, Ripple doesn’t give up, aiming at the financial mainstream. Only last month, it had Japan-based financial giant SBI Holdings, which it’s its investor and partner, announcing that Ripple-powered settlements are going to be integrated with ATMs all over Japan. According to market researcher Fundstrat, XRP was the weakest performing crypto asset since the beginning of 2020 until May.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Bitcoin backed Crytpo-Dollar To Help Venezuelans Counter Hyperinflation and Boost Remittance

Valiu, a Colombian startup with expertise in remittance services has come up with a Bitcoin backed crypto-dollar to help Venezuela get past these troubled times. The new synthetic dollar would help the country to get past its hyperinflation woes and make a cross-border transaction without worrying about the declining value of their national fiat.

Venezuela used to be among the richest nations thanks to its oil and mineral reserves, however continuous power struggle along with corruption in the government led to one of the worst hyper-inflations in the recorded history. The hyperinflation made the national fiat, bolivar almost worthless as its value kept declining every minute.

As a result, citizens stopped using the currency and started to look for alternatives in the form of universal fiats like US Dollar and decentralized currencies such as Bitcoin.

The government also came up with its national digital currency in the form of Petro which was backed by oil, however, the digital currency has been marred into controversy from the beginning. It was reported that the government was forcing merchants to accept Petro at a highly discounted rate which incurred them heavy losses. And now that the oil prices have plumbers across the globe, even Petro looks like a failed attempt.

Can Valiu’s Synthetic Dollar Prove To Be the Alternative Venezuelans Have Been Looking For?

Valiu is now in the testing phase of Bitcoin backed synthetic dollar and the Colombian startup has partnered with Latin America food delivery app Rappi and hoping that when it launched the digital crypto dollar for masses, the partnership would help in expanding the adoption.

Simon Chamorro tweeted about the launch of the testing phase of the cryptodollar and said,

“After 4 months of 80+ hour work weeks, 500k+ lines of clean code written across 4 engineers, shifting the company fully remote due to COVID, and completing a rigorous regulatory analysis … I’m proud to say that Valiu’s crypto-dollar is now live and running in Alpha.”

Last year the startup has also created a remittance service using which people can send money directly into the bank accounts of Venezuelans. The remittance service has helped 38,000 households up until now to get access to basic amenities such as food and daily supplies. The firm noted that the primary reason for devising a remittance service arose due to the black market that was created amid rising hyperinflation. The informal sector led to a ton of cases of cheating and fraud.

The new Bitcoin backed synthetic dollar is expected to be launched by the end of this year. The cryptodollar has been designed in a way that even people who have no knowledge about the working of the digital assets or Bitcoin can simply deposit cash in one of the thousands of remittance partners of Valiu and receive synthetic dollar in return to their savings account.

The main reason behind creating the synthetic dollar is a continuous loss of value of Bolivar, which made the remittance service launched by Valiu last year of little use as most of the transactions in the country (over 95%) is done in the national fiat, and the first thing that people look to do with the Bolivar is to exchange it against either any foreign currency or goods. However, it is quite difficult to get ones to hand on international currency or Bitcoin in a country which has been plagued by corruption. Thus, the idea of the synthetic dollar came along.

Alejandro Machado, Valiu’s head of research explained why the country needs a synthetic dollar,

“99% of remittances still arrive in bolivars,.Dollars cash hardly makes it across borders, especially in the middle of #COVIDー19 lockdowns.”

Decentralization has Become More Necessity Than Need

After failed attempts at creating their own national digital currency in the form of petro, there were several reports of increased trading activity in Bitcoin. However, the ground reality was far from what the media portrayed. People in Venezuela are not pro decentralization, but more pro-survival. Thus they used Bitcoin and other foreign currency as a bridge currency to exchange against value less Bolivar and survive another day.

Chamorro believes the synthetic dollar could also prove beneficial to the Colombians whose national fiat is also seeing high inflation rates. He also noted that the synthetic dollar would act as a hedge against the hyperinflation and would ensure to keep the value of their earned money intact. The app through which the bitcoin-backed dollar would be light in nature and would only take 14 MB space meaning even the lower end devices can run it.

He also noted that they are fully compliant with the regulators in Columbia and is looking forward to spreading its reach across Latin America. Sid Ramesh, one of the advisors at Valiu said,

“We fundamentally believe the user experience, and the institution around it, should not confuse users or have to go through the norm of having a set of private keys, or having to sync a blockchain node, or doing any of the kind of things you would expect to on traditional crypto applications.”

Latest Bitcoin Price News and Crypto Market Updates

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Author: Rebecca Asseh

RippleNet Helps Coinone Transfer Break Into the $33B South Korean Remittance Market

  • South Korea’s lucrative $33 billion remittance industry mainly dominated by players from the banking industry saw new players such as Coinone Transfer after new regulation was implemented in 2017.
  • SBI Ripple backed remittance company boasts of cheaper and faster real-time cross border money transfers.

The banking industry in Korea had majorly dominated remittance services in South Korea before 2017. The new regulation that came into effect in 2017 granted non-banking institutions access to a slice of the $33 billion pie.

This resulted in the launching of Coinone Transfer which was a brainchild of the SBI Ripple Asia partnership. This was a strategic partnership between RippleNet and SBI holdings to give birth to South Korea’s first remittance service that was supported by Blockchain.

Migrant Workers in South Korea

Their scope would at the moment focus on foreigners who work in South Korea and yet have to send money to their families. Cross border money transfers proved to a timeous process as Camille Jeong, Business Development Manager at Coinone explained. They had to physically visit bank brick and mortar premises, marking the beginning of the long and expensive process where they had to queue to fill in paperwork and wait for as long as one week for payments to reflect on destination accounts. This was especially harder for those working in rural setups.

The unique partnership also gave SBI access to RippleNet’s wide array of partners located in Thailand, Philippines, and Sri Lanka in their fold. This resulted in lower operational costs and thus translated to transfer fees lower than 1%. Jeong explained that this also trimmed the transactional period as they were in real-time.

They then embarked on a marketing spree to convince the people to use their platform. This they achieved by using three animated characters that would represent their remittance superheroes as Jeong cited. The response from the market was massive as their transaction volumes have grown by 50% monthly since. They also enjoyed up to 80% client retention rates meaning they got a lot of repeat business from satisfied clients.

Korean Students Studying Abroad Next

Notably, they now want to zero in on another type of clientele that also relies heavily on cross border money transfers. Parents based in South Korea whose kids study abroad and have to rely on money transfers to pay for school tuition and upkeep as highlighted by Jeong. Coinone would be able to offer reliable remittance services across the globe in the US, UK, Hong Kong, and even Singapore

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Author: Lujan Odera

Intermex Walks Back Announcement, They Won’t Be Using Ripple In Core Markets Like Mexico

International Money Exchange (Intermex), one of the most prominent remittance companies in the world, made the announcement that it won’t be using Ripple its cryptocurrency XRP for its core markets like Mexico.

The news comes quite a big surprise, seeing that in early 2020, Intermex closed a partnership with Ripple. The company’s executives conducted a conference in order to respond to the question of how Ripple and XRP will be used in the future.

Intermex Focuses Mostly on Latin America

The partnership between Intermex and Ripple was announced at the beginning of last month. Many speculated that Intermex, which focuses mostly on Latin America, will integrate XRP into their services in Mexico and other countries in the area for faster remittance payments. However, that doesn’t appear to be the case. This is what Intermex’s CEO, Robert Lisy said about the matter specifically:

“Ripple will not be an answer for places like Mexico. We’re very proud about the relationships we have there . . . we have very tight relationships that strategically setting plans and objectives with those players. And so you won’t really see us leveraging Ripple in our core markets.

I think it will bring us more growth in newer markets in places where we’re exploring going into ancillary products.”

Ripple’s Supporters Are Frustrated

Ripple supporters from Latin America are frustrated seeing that Intermex has rapidly grown as a company after they went public back in 2018. In 2019, it had moved over $16 billion, and not to mention, expanded its services to Africa and Canada. This means the future looks bright for Ripple’s RippleNet and XRP while things are moving ahead, but not yet for South America.

The Remittance Market is Flooded by Cryptocurrency

Intermex and other similar companies are wise to try and explore the use of blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies, as they can be revolutionary for international transfers in terms of speed and cost.

According to estimates, 15% of remittances from all over the world involve crypto, not to mention a rise in this percentage is expected in the upcoming years, even if crypto for remittances takes place mostly in the developing world, where people are looking for an alternative to national fiats, which are more and more unstable.

Crypto enthusiasts have been long saying that blockchain assets like Bitcoin (BTC) are going to close remittance companies. This doesn’t mean Intermex and its competitors shouldn’t look for other alternatives too.

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Author: Oana Ularu

Ripple: Asia-Pacific Remittance Market Seeing Growing Demand And is Ripe for Digitalization

  • APAC digital transfer and remittance market expected to grow by 24.2% from 2018 until 2025
  • But what’s astounding is the expensive services charging as high as 10.34%

In its latest insight report, Ripple shares the growing demand the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region is seeing.

“More remitters than ever are sending money home to their loved ones,” the San Francisco-based company points out adding APAC saw a growth of 12% in remittance flows in 2018, as per World Bank. About 2bln in remittance transactions flow in the area every year.

APAC region to see a growth of over 24%

Remittance flows in the Philippines, makes them the 3rd largest remittance-receiving nation worldwide, and another staggering number that is reaching record highs of $529 billion last year is Thailand, and is also anticipated to see exponential growth as the Philippines greatest help for external financing.

On the opposite side, Australia and Thailand entice a remarkable amount of migrant workers. Australia’s payment outflows are $7.2 billion to China, India, Vietnam, the UK, and the Philippines. Also becoming a major destination for foreign workers is Thailand, with $7.5 billion set against ejaculations of $4.9 billion estimated payment inflows.

From 2018 until 2025, APAC digital transfer and remittance market is actually expected to experience a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 24.2%.

But traditional payment channels charging fees as high as 10%

The rise of worldwide remittances is “significant” but even more astounding are the expensive services. Ripple notes,

“The Asia-Pacific (APAC) region is seeing significant growth in remittances, yet the high cost of cross border payments leaves remitters with few options.”

Here blockchain technologies have a huge part to play as they can offer a fast, smooth encounter for global payments with reliability, and transparency, that people are accustomed to and require from services like email.

The global median cost of transferring $200 was 6.84% in 3Q19, with banks charging an average fee as high as 10.34%.

There is also a high price variance by corridors, from Thailand to Vietnam, Lo PDR, and China has remittance fees exceeding 10% in 2018.

Blockchain provides a solution

Financial businesses desire a cheaper, simpler, and more effective way of processing cross-border transactions and blockchain has created a resolution.

With APAC market “ripe for digitization,” Ripple is already working and seeing much activity in the Philippines and Thai market.

Recently, the company along with Thailand’s oldest bank Siam Commercial Bank announced that they were working on enabling cross-border payments via QR codes.

Through its partner FlashFX, Ripple has opened payment channels in Mexico, the US, and the Philippines with Australia next on the list. Apart from SendFriend, MoneyGram is also using XRP to conduct transactions in Europe, Australia, and the Philippines as well to tap this growing demand in APAC region.

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Author: AnTy