Yesterday, UAE’s National Bank of Fujairah (NBF) announced it is joining the RippleNet platform for cross-border payments to India through Indus Ind Bank. Using RippleNet, NBF aims to enable real-time payments with end-to-end tracking of transactions.
RippleNet is the blockchain solution from Ripple that competes with the SWIFT messaging system. The company has another solution called On-Demand Liquidity (ODL), which leverages XRP for fund transfers.
RippleNet is the preferred choice for banks due to their existing relationships with other banks around the world. The NBF will use the solution to speed up remittance transactions, starting with India. India is the top recipient of remittances across the world, according to data from the World Bank which show it received $79 billion in 2018. The UAE, which has over 2.5 million Indians, has been the largest source of remittances to India, amounting to about 27% of the total.
“Digitisation remains a key catalyst for change and as a customer-first bank, we understand the importance of leveraging blockchain technology to deliver seamless and frictionless experiences to our clients,” said Vince Cook, CEO of NBF. “RippleNet will enable us to stimulate an enhanced payment experience that will allow our corporate clients to manage their finances in a more efficient way.”
Blockchain is being increasingly used for cross-border payments, and RippleNet has partnerships across the globe. A few months ago, Ripple said it had crossed the 300 customer mark for RippleNet.
Last month, the National Bank of Egypt announced it had entered a deal with Ripple for low-cost remittance to the country. SBI Ripple, the joint venture between Japan’s SBI Holdings and Ripple, has launched a blockchain-based money transfer service between Japan and Vietnam.
Thailand’s Siam Commercial Bank integrated RippleNet with its mobile banking application to enable low-cost cross-border payments.
Coming back to NBF, the bank has been exploring blockchain to offer better services to its customers. Last year, it joined the Marco Polo blockchain trade finance network and it is also a member of a local trade finance platform UAE Trade Connect.