Today, Vietnamese TPBank announced that it has joined RippleNet for blockchain cross-border payments. Using the technology, the bank hopes to speed up remittances from a few hours to a few minutes. It is first focusing on transfers between Vietnam and Japan.
TPBank, short for Tien Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank, became one of Vietnam’s top 10 banks in 2017 with assets of over $5.3 billion. It focuses on digital transformation and e-banking, and has a money transfer app which allows customers to send funds with a QR code.
Today’s announcement is another step in the right direction for the bank’s digitization goals. Ripple has merged its xCurrent and xRapid solutions into RippleNet. The former is a messaging system for payments, while the latter is an XRP-powered liquidity offering. Though unconfirmed, TPBank is most probably using xCurrent as a faster alternative to SWIFT’s protocol.
Ripple’s solution allows for nearly instant international transfers which are legally compliant. As TPBank explained: “ [By] joining RippleNet, remittance transactions from abroad to TPBank will be faster, while ensuring safety and transparency, cash flows will still be legally transferred via foreign banks to Vietnam, … [and will] ensure compliance with the regulations on foreign exchange management as well as the prevention of money laundering.”
TPBank’s CEO, Nguyen Hung, spoke to Vietnam Insider earlier this year, revealing its partnership with SBI for blockchain payments. SBI is an investor in Ripple and owns 60% of the joint venture SBI Ripple Asia. So he was likely referring to the joint company.
First rolling out blockchain payments for Japan and Vietnam, the bank plans to expand to South Korea. It joins leading banks including PNC and Santander, which also use the xCurrent payment solution, along with transfer firms Ria and MoneyGram.
In the last two months, Ripple has partnered with Faysal Bank, completed an acquihire of payments startup Logos, and joined with leading tech provider Finastra. With Finastra, which works with 90 of the 100 largest banks, Ripple could significantly increase RippleNet adoption.