On September 6, Pakistan’s Faysal Bank (FBL) announced a partnership with Ripple to use RippleNet. The Karachi-based bank will be adopting Ripple’s xCurrent blockchain messaging platform for cross border payments.
The bank claims to be the first in Pakistan to employ Ripple’s blockchain for cross-border payments. It is one of the biggest banks of Pakistan with total assets of 545.6 billion Pakistani rupees (US$3.5 billion) at the end of March 2019.
“Faysal Bank will be introducing a fast, secure and convenient cross border payments service by partnering with Ripple on their xCurrent offering,” said Faysal Bank.
“The agreement will improve FBL home remittance customers’ experience through instant fund transfers with end-to-end tracing and tracking solutions available currently in global and some GCC markets including UAE and Saudi Arabia. Implementation will start this month (September) with an aim to go live in Q1 2020”.
There is a ban on cryptocurrency in Pakistan, and at present, regulations are being formulated by the State Bank of Pakistan. Ripple is synonymous to cryptocurrency, with its XRP digital currency one of the popular digital currencies along with bitcoin. However, Faysal Bank will not be using XRP.
In the past Ripple separated its solutions into xRapid and xCurrent. XRapid uses XRP for fund transfers, eliminating the need for banks to use a correspondent bank in a country where it does not have banking relations. XCurrent does not use XRP for fund transfer but is a blockchain-messaging protocol that competes with SWIFT.
A few months ago, Ria Money Transfer, a subsidiary of Euronet Worldwide, signed up with Ripple to use RippleNet blockchain payments network. Ria transfers $40 billion of money per year. Subsequently, Ripple invested in MoneyGram.
Last month, PNC Treasury Management became the first US bank to go is live on RippleNet. This enables commercial clients of the bank to use the network to receive international payments almost instantly.