Asheesh Birla, the senior vice-president of product at San Francisco-based Ripple, recently revealed that the company has aggressive expansion plans for xRapid, its XRP-powered crypto remittance platform.
RIPPLE’S VISION OF CHANGING THE PAYMENTS LANDSCAPE
During an ask-me-anything session hosted by Ripple’s Ginger Baker, Birla said that the company is in the process of expanding its cross-border payments platform to more countries across the globe. He said:
- On demand liquidity is available today in Mexico and the Philippines. So far, the positive responses from our customers in those two countries has (sic) been overwhelming. But we are working on the next set of destinations, which we will be announcing in hopefully short order here.
- I know our product teams and marketing and engineering teams are working hard to light up those next set of destinations so that we can provide our customers with increased choice in terms of global expansion.
Ripple can partner with cryptocurrency exchanges across the globe that are capable of accepting fiat currency from banks. It then converts fiat money into XRP and transmits it to the destination, where it is instantly converted back into fiat.
Birla explained that the current cross-border payments system is legacy in nature as sending money from one country to another is a time-consuming process.
- If you’ve sent a bank wire, or if you’ve actually tried to wire money around the world, you know that it’s just faster probably to just get that money, get a plane and get it to your destination. The crazy thing about payments today in 2019 is that if you want to send money globally, it really hasn’t changed since the 1960s.
This is where xRapid comes into play by offering on-demand liquidity.
But Ripple needs to ensure that it complies with the regulations of those countries where it plans to set up a payments corridor.
RIPPLE’S PARTNERSHIPS TO AID XRAPID’S GROWTH
Ripple has been busy striking partnerships with payments providers and crypto exchanges to get xRapid off the ground.
Bitso in Mexico and Coins.ph in the Philippines enable xRapid transactions between the two countries. In the US, Ripple has named Bittrex as its preferred cryptocurrency exchange partner to facilitate real-time payments between banks globally.
Ripple had struck a deal with international payments providers Mercury FX and IDT Corporation in January last year to test out the XRP-powered xRapid platform. Last month, Mercury FX sent the first xRapid payment to the Philippines on behalf of a UK-based client in a transaction that took just a few seconds to execute at a lower fee.
Money Gram, another major player in the payments industry, is also using xRapid along with Mexican bank Cuallix. American Express is one more marquee name that’s partnering with Ripple’s XRP-enabled real-time payments platform.
Now that Ripple has already proven that XRP-based xRapid is capable of changing the cross-border payments landscape because of low costs and a faster turnaround, it won’t be surprising to see the service expand rapidly into more countries as Birla suggests.