B2B Payments

Ripple’s Cross-Border Offerings Gain Asia Adoption

The competition for cross-border payments continues apace, with both SWIFT and Ripple making progress — the former in Asia, the latter in Africa. Stripe makes a bid to ease compliance and boost payments security in an age of global eCommerce.

Amid cross-border payments efforts, Ripple has gained some traction in recent days. As reported on sites such as BitcoinExchangeGuide, Siam Commercial Bank is boosting its use of Ripple’s offerings, including xCurrent.

Paul Arriyavat, chief strategy officer at Siam Commercial Bank, said, according to the site, “Banking penetration is so low. People use cash. It’s convenient, it’s cheap. As a bank, we cannot reach 70 percent of the population. Even though people in Southeast Asia are very advanced smartphone users, when it’s time to pay, they don’t use their phones.”

The executive noted that the firm “invested in Ripple. We commercialized their technologies. They became our co-partners in solving these pain points I just mentioned. We actually solved pain points for Thai migrant workers that live in Japan. We helped them send money home through 30,000 ATM machines. Beyond that, people ask, ‘OK, besides Thailand, what can we do?’ We looked at our presence in the regions. Cambodia, we have Vietnam, we have other countries. So we said, ‘OK, let’s do that.’”

The bank is using xCurrent to help with real-time remittance payments between Japan and Thailand, with withdrawal at ATMs, avoiding cash retrieval with agents.

Africa, Too

In reference to Ripple competitor SWIFT: Diamond Trust Bank — based in East Africa and operating in Burundi, Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania — has become the first East African bank to go live on SWIFT’s global payments innovation (gpi) offering.

As reported, the SWIFT gpi seeks to boost real-time payments tracking and transparency, with about half of gpi payments credited to accounts within five minutes and 100 percent of payments credited within 24 hours. SWIFT said the gpi is being used for $300 billion worth of transactions a day across 148 currencies on an annual basis, with $40 trillion traversing the service in all of 2018. As much as 85 percent of the 3,500 banks have committed to using gpi, and the messaging service has said that gpi will be a standard for cross-border payments by 2020.

Stripe’s SCA Push

Payments firm Stripe said earlier this week that it launched product updates, and bought a Dublin-based firm, in an effort to help European firms get ready for Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) mandates that are part of PSD2 — which goes live in September.

As reported, more than 300 million consumers will need to confirm their identity for most of their online purchases using two of the following: something they know (e.g. a password), possess (e.g. a phone) or are (e.g. their fingerprint). Payments infrastructure will have to be updated.

Amid that effort, Stripe is offering merchants the ability to design SCA-ready payment forms, as well as accept the best authentication methods through a single integration: Checkout, a pre-built payments page optimized for SCA that merchants can integrate with a few lines of code, and Billing, a suite of tools for subscription businesses. Transactions will be scanned to trigger SCA only when needed.

The company also said it bought Ireland’s Touchtech Payments, which offers software for authentication used by FinTech firms and challenger banks.

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