Ripple’s global head of infrastructure innovation Dilip Rao says nearly 200 banks and financial institutions are now on RIppleNet.
On average, every six days Ripple is adding a new customer to its network of payment providers that utilize the company’s software solutions to process cross-border payments.
“We have to date signed up close to 200 financial institutions around the world, many of them from this part of the world…
We now have three banks in Saudi Arabia, two in Kuwait, one in Bahrain, one in Oman, a couple in the UAE here. And it really is our fastest growing marketplace.”
According to Rao, Ripple will open its first office in Dubai by the end of 2018.
He says early adopters of Ripple’s technology can help blue collar workers and support areas where traditional payment platforms like Swift may be impractical.
“In some parts of the world, in South Asia for example, banks have given up on using Swift and have built their own proprietary technologies to interface into these corridors so they can move money quickly and cheaply to meet the needs of customers in these high volume corridors…
If you want to send this money, particularly you’re not clear about what the fees are going to be that the bank is going to charge on the other end. And therefore, what you’ll receive might be substantially less than what you sent out. And if you’re sending money for blue collar workers, this often can be a small amount of money, $200, and the fees for these kinds of small payments can be as high as 5 to 10%. So this is actually hurting the people who can afford it the least.”
Rao says Ripple’s technology is especially impactful when it comes to sending small amounts of money across borders, and can lay the foundation for machine-to-machine transactions that move as little as a fraction of a penny.
“So we think that solving for this problem generically allows us to then say, ‘How do we move even smaller amounts of money?’
And that can start to build the basis for a digital economy, because if you now think about machines talking to each other, doing maybe 50 billion transactions every year. This is the amount of what micro payments – a tenth of a cent – and really the existing infrastructure is unable to cope with these very low value, high volume of transactions. So we think there is a requirement to build a new set of infrastructure to be able to support this kind of a digital economy.”