UAE Exchange, the United Arab Emirates-based company, and Ripple, the blockchain technology company based in the U.S., are gearing up to launch cross-border remittances to Asia using blockchain technology.
According to a report in Reuters, citing UAE Exchange's group CEO Promoth Manghat, who is also executive director and chief executive at Finablr, with Asia among the biggest recipients of remittances sent around the world in 2017 and with a lot of it coming from workers in the Middle East, UAE Exchange and Ripple want a piece of that action. According to Reuters, as it stands, funds are largely sent via foreign exchange branches but a growing amount is being sent from websites and apps. Blockchain technology to power these services is expected to play a big role in the coming years.
“Blockchain holds tremendous promise for the industry but there is progress to be made before we see it go fully mainstream,” Manghat told Reuters in an interview. “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 cross-border remittances in Asia will be one of the first initiatives to come from a partnership between UAE Exchange and Ripple in February. UAE Exchange is the biggest payments firm located in the Middle East to use the technology of Ripple to process payments, noted the Reuters report. Reuters also noted that National Bank of Ras Al-Khaimah and Kuwait Finance House, the Middle East lenders, have also come on board with RippleNet as well as Standard Chartered.
“We are also looking at how Ripple can enhance our business-to-business solutions at Finablr,” Manghat noted. “Blockchain is one aspect we are looking at. We want to become the partner of choice for banks and technology companies and are looking at potential bolt-ons." Reuters noted that last year Manghat said UAE Exchange wants to increase its market share in global remittance by higher than 10 percent in two years.