The CEO of the Texas-based money transfer giant MoneyGram says the company is working to optimize and perfect the use of XRP as an engine for moving money across borders.
MoneyGram partnered with Ripple and began using its XRP-based payment solution ODL this past summer. In a new interview on First Move, CEO Alexander Holmes says the company’s early experience with blockchain and cryptocurrency has him convinced that the technology could transform the cross-border payments industry.
“I think blockchain is an amazingly interesting technology. I think there are questions out there about what is the value and future of cryptocurrencies in that space. We’re using Ripple’s cryptocurrency for now, XRP, as a medium of exchange to move from dollars to pesos. And XRP sits in the middle. What the value of all that becomes longer term, I think, is interesting.
But what I will say is that to the extent that we can perfect the model, that we can truly facilitate instant flow of funds, instant money movement with the data and allow a customer in county A to get money into country B seamlessly and efficiently, I think it’s what everyone is demanding.”
When asked whether he believes other major payments players like Western Union will utilize RippleNet, Holmes said he can’t speculate on specifics, but he believes Ripple’s network of financial institutions will continue to grow.
“When you think about utilizing mobile technology and phones to access information and data and financial information is critically important for everyone in the world, to be quite honest. And so, I think others will participate. We are seeing other smaller money transfer players participating in RippleNet.
Whether companies like Western Union decide to move in that direction or not is really up to them. But I can see this becoming a much bigger partnership from a variety of different firms.”
As for the great debate on whether emerging payments technologies can one day replace Swift, the massive payments messaging network with more than 10,000 institutions on board, Holmes says the industry leader is king for a reason – and that there is plenty of room for competition.
“I think [replacing incumbents like Swift] are large aspirations. I think any incumbent has a foothold in the market for a reason. Every bank is tied into Swift. Most major corporations are tied into Swift.
And yet, you continue to see new types of services come along to try to compete with them and drive differentiation in the marketplace. Whether you can ever displace or completely replace is always an interesting thought to ponder. But certainly, securing larger and larger pieces of that pie is definitely not off the table.”