Ripple is growing due to the expansion of MENA to capitalize on the rise of crypto payments

As more institutions in the MENA region look to adopt a crypto strategy, demand is growing in the region for more cryptocurrency-enabled cross-border remittance services, according to a senior official at Ripple, a global enterprise blockchain and crypto solutions company.

“We have seen a lot of interest from institutions across MENA to use on-demand liquidity (ODL) to support the remittance services they offer, and we already have local payment service providers such as Pyypl using the solution to facilitate remittances between the UAE and other countries around the world, ” Navin Gupta, Managing Director, South Asia and MENA, Ripple, told Zawya.

“Our clients and partners in the region use our ODL crypto solution to facilitate cross-border payments as MENA continues to be a growing region for remittances. We expect to further expand our presence in the region as our business grows there,” he added.

Through Ripple’s payment network RippleNet, its users can leverage digital assets (XRP) for cross-border payments directly through crypto wallets, enabling lower-cost transactions and instant settlement. XRP is a cryptocurrency and the original token of Ripple

Ripple’s cross-border payment technology is used by businesses, and its clients are primarily banks, payment service providers and other fintech companies. Total payment volume on its RippleNet payment network exceeds $15 billion, and its global ODL volume has grown ninefold year-over-year.

“We have seen great interest in our services in MENA. We have partnerships with several leading banks in the region, including SABB in Saudi Arabia and QNB in ​​Qatar. We also work with local payment providers such as Pyypl and LuLu Money, which use Ripple’s [ODL] a crypto solution to facilitate global movements between different currencies,” said Gupta.

Despite technological advances, he said, cross-border payments remain a challenge for payment service providers and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which are left to fund invoices in advance and hold captive capital that could be better deployed to help them grow and expand their businesses . .

By leveraging crypto liquidity, he added, Ripple can bring new products to market that are not possible with legacy systems.

ODL allows the treasury managers of both companies to obtain the necessary foreign currency liquidity, freeing up working capital and avoiding the need for pre-financing nostro calculated based on the estimated quantities.

ODL is now available in nearly 40 payment markets, representing approximately 90% of the $6 trillion daily foreign exchange market, which Gupta described as a significant milestone towards global coverage.

“Instead of replicating what happens in the physical world and making it digital, we offer users a completely new way of doing business. This gives more flexibility and choice to customers, while reducing friction in the payment process. It also gives our customers the ability to grow and scale quickly with new partners and currencies, simplifying the onboarding process and enabling payments across multiple currencies,” said Gupta.

UAE as a Crypto Hub

Gupta noted that it wasn’t that long ago that cryptocurrencies had negative connotations and many traditional financial institutions were very hesitant to talk about them, let alone integrate them into their products, but more recently his company has seen traditional financial institutions become more comfortable with the idea of ​​adopting crypto to solve real problems for their business when it comes to remittances and cashier payments.

“While traditional financial institutions are slower to adopt, MENA is certainly seeing an increase in new services and adoption in the region by consumers and businesses,” he added.

Gupta noted that the UAE is now home to many influential crypto companies, creating an opportunity to develop a developer ecosystem. “A number of these developers are choosing to build on the XRP Ledger (XRPL). Developers can apply for grants from the XRPL Foundation and/or Ripple to build solutions relevant to the MENA market.”

In addition, he added, NYU Abu Dhabi is a partner of the University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI), and Ripple is working with the institution on a cluster of startups to activate the ecosystem in the region.

The future of global payments

Ripple is working with policy makers and regulators across the MENA region as they look to develop frameworks to support digital assets.

“We are seeing increasing interest from regulators in the MENA region to provide clarity around the nature of digital assets, as well as clear regulatory frameworks to support digital asset activities, including payments,” Gupta said.

He added that innovation in the space will be fostered by a regulatory environment that is welcoming to crypto and technological advancements and understands that this is the future of global payments.

(Reporting by Sunil S; Editing by Seban Scaria)

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