The National Bank of Egypt (NBE), the country’s largest bank, is using the RippleNet blockchain for cross border payments with Lulu International Exchange, the United Arab Emirates currency exchange firm. NBE first announced its deal with Ripple in February last year.
“Egypt ranks amongst the top five countries worldwide in terms of remittances received from its overseas expatriate communities,” said Hesham Elsafty, Group Head for Financial Institutions and International Financial Services at NBE.
“Given the important role remittances play in the Egyptian economy, the National Bank of Egypt is continuously aiming to develop and enhance the infrastructure which pertains to this line of business.”
In terms of inward remittances from workers sending money back home, Egypt received an estimated $24 billion for 2020. According to the World Bank, in 2019, inward remittances amounted to 8.8% of Egypt’s GDP.
Elsafty continued, “NBE’s partnership with Ripple will help to improve overall efficiency by enabling NBE to establish new alliances across wider markets with reduced cost and quicker integration time. We are very excited to announce our new partnership with Ripple.”
While money transfer companies are attracted to Ripple’s On Demand Liquidity (ODL) solution that uses the XRP cryptocurrency, only a handful of banks have embraced it. However, several major banks are supporters of RippleNet, the payment messaging solution that can be used without XRP. In 2020, Ripple disclosed that RippleNet had more than 300 customers.
Some of the big banks include Santander and MUFG. In the UAE, the National Bank of Fujairah (NBF) joined the network last March.