A foreign exchange company based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has begun using Ripple’s blockchain technology to complete cross-border remittance payments. Finablr, a firm which owns and operates both the UAE Exchange and Unimoni, will initially adopt the technology to make payments to Thailand, with a view to expanding into other countries over time.
Executive Director in Chief of Finablr, Promoth Manghat, spoke of the advantages that blockchain technology provides to the cross-border payments industry.
“The adoption of blockchain opens up considerable potential to streamline remittances and provide a frictionless, fast and secure payments experience,” he said.
The partnership was first announced in early December last year with the aim to go live in the first quarter of 2019. In order to facilitate the payments to Thailand, Finablr has entered into an agreement with Siam Commercial Bank, one of Thailand’s largest financial institutions.
With a large portion of UAE expat workers originating from South Asia, remittance payments between the two regions grew by 13.5 percent last year. The development represents a significant boost for RippleNet, Ripple’s growing network of over 200 interconnected banking institutions around the globe.
Leading Blockchain Adoption
International remittance has proven to be one of the most promising growth sectors for the adoption of blockchain technology worldwide. Until recently, the majority of cross-border payments have been transferred through banks or foreign exchange outlets. However, the slow transactions times and high fees associated with these methods have driven users to investigate emerging technologies.
Statistical data from the World Bank suggests the international remittance market will grow by 3.7 percent in 2019, reaching a total of $715 billion transferred globally. As more transactions move through blockchain and cryptocurrency-powered methods, adoption of the technology is guaranteed to grow exponentially.