Over the past couple of weeks, Ripple has been facing off against some very tangible threats coming from the likes of SWIFT payments and Facebook’s forthcoming Libra token. SWIFT this month successfully used its new instant cross-borders payment technology to successfully send a transaction between Singapore and Australia in only 13 seconds.
Meanwhile, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse has recently been on the media offensive; providing commentary on Libra, Ripple and the cryptocurrency sector as a whole in a series of interviews. The timing of this regular crypto-evangelism mean that it potentially offers some small solace to those who were anticipating the controversially cancelled Justin Sun-Warren Buffett lunch.
Most notable were Garlinghouse’s appearances on Bloomberg TV’s ‘Bloomberg Technology’ show and CNBC’s ‘Squawk Alley’. In the former, he stated that he recognizes “arrogance” in how Facebook has approached the situation “somewhat brazenly running into things without ticking all the boxes”.
In the latter, Garlinghouse addressed rumours surrounding a patent filed by Bank of America on July 23rd 2019 which hinted at a potential future partnership with Ripple.
“I saw that… I can neither confirm nor kill [the rumor]… and I too was surprised by that patent application, as we have not announced anything…
“Certainly some of the largest banks in the world are already customers of ours today. We’ll continue working with big banks around the world”
Welcome to the latest bi-weekly news roundup for Ripple blockchain network and XRP cryptocurrency.
South Korean International Remittance Provider Sentbe Partners With Ripple and MoneyGram
Omnichannel money transfer and payment services provider MoneyGram has announced that it has signed a contract with Korean international remittance startup Sentbe, making it the first ‘Moneygram virtual agent’ in South Korea. The service is currently live.
Its website advertises that users in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and Malaysia can use it right now to “send and receive [payments] within 1 day!” before enticing viewers to try the “new improved Sentbe.”.
The service is also available in the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Japan, China, Thailand, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Cambodia, and India. Sentbe offers Korean customers cheaper fees compared to “95%” of banks.
Ripple on June 17th, 2019 had pledged a $50 million investment into MoneyGram, making the three companies indirectly related. According to MoneyGram, the relationship aligns with its “goal of providing customers with an expanded range of digital money transfer options.”
Yogesh Sangle (MoneyGram head of APAC and South Asia)
“Enhancing our product offering in South Korea is a strategic move that accelerates our digital transformation in the region,”
“With an increasing number of foreign residents and growing numbers of working populations from neighboring Asian countries, working with Sentbe will further improve financial inclusion in South Korea and we are proud to share a legacy of customer commitment through this collaboration.”
Alex Choi (CEO of Sentbe)
“Innovation that simplifies the money transfer process is our top priority and there is not a more perfect time than now to embark on this move with MoneyGram”
“We are now in an even better position to meet demand for tech-savvy solutions within this space and look forward to the change this will bring to the diverse community we serve.”
“Through the agreement with MoneyGram, we are stepping closer to providing financial services without borders that Sentbe pursues. We will continue to increase our partnership so that customers can conveniently use overseas financial services.”
Mexican Exchange Bitso (And Ripple Partner) Claims To Be First GFSC Regulated Company In Latin America
Bitso, a Mexican cryptocurrency exchange which has been a xRapid exchange partner since August 2018, announced this month that it has obtained approval for regulatory oversight within the DLT-oriented framework of the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (GFSC).
Other companies licensed by the Gibraltar commission include Coinfloor, Huobi and Covesting.
The exchange claims that this regulatory approval is the first of its kind in Latin America, and advertises to users the security afforded through partnership with a European body.
“the cryptocurrency services you interact with daily will now be regulated by robust European standards applicable for the industry… the Gibraltar financial authority validated the quality of our services from all aspects.”
This news follows the opening of the first Ripple office in Latin America in June 2019, in Brazil. Heading the regional division is Luiz Antionio Sacco, who is responsible for helping to expand presence in South America, in addition to forming new partnerships.
US remittance payments to Mexico, as of 2018, are estimated to be valued at over $30 million per-year.
Ripple (XRP) xCurrent powered “One Pay FX” Santander app enables new important payment corridor
Santander announced that it would be opening up a new payments corridor between Poland-UK (Zloty – Pound Sterling) for its Ripple / xCurrent-powered international remittance app One Pay FX, as part of its 1.3.1 update.
Using the updated version of the application based on Ripple technology, customers of Santander UK are able to make financial transfers of up to a £10,000 value to 19 Euro-zone countries plus Poland.
Like with Bitso with USA-Mexico, this represents a significant new market expansion for Santander with regards to international payments from the migrant worker / expat communities between the two countries.
According to BBC News, “hundreds of millions [in GBP value is] sent [from the UK] to Poland, China, Kenya, Philippines, Bangladesh and Ghana each year”. No specific figures were provided for clarification, nor details regarding how much money is transferred in the opposite direction (to the UK).
One Pay FX is only available for Apple iOS devices at presence, with no information regarding an Android / Google Play version having been released at this time. You can download it now on the App Store for free.
The app lets customers make international payments in Pounds, Euros, US Dollars and now Polish Zloty. Beyond being a customer of Santander bank, requirements include an iPhone running iOS 10 or above, and a Santander debit card registered on Apple Pay.
Information correct as of 19:56 PM, 3rd August 2019