Ripple, the company behind the XRP token and a number of key banking partnerships intended to help with cross-banking transactions, is starting to encroach into a new arena. Through investments in a company that uses the XRP token and the product xRapid, Barclays and Mastercard are starting to get up close and personal with Ripple.
Furthermore, Western Union confirmed that they are piloting some settlement tests with Ripple for certain corridors, which is positive news for the cryptocurrency company and its investors.
The indication is that major companies that are actively involved in interbanking and cross-border payments are beginning to look to improve their own systems with these kinds of experiments and investments.
Cryptocurrencies have always provided an alternative to traditional and institutionalized banks, but it is Ripple that a lot of the more stringent ones are looking at. Ripple and its xRapid offering have prided themselves on being regulatory compliant, and thus are attractive for the likes of Barclays and Mastercard to invest in and Western Union to test out.
Both Barclays and Mastercard, two of the world’s largest financial service companies and banking institutions, have put money into a remittance company called SendFriend. This company is currently using the XRP-based xRapid service.
SendFriend is primarily targeting a Philippine and U.S. remittance market, utilizing the xRapid service to exchange USD and Philippine pesos with XRP to create cheap, frictionless cross-border transactions that occur almost instantly.
Clearly this market is attractive to the likes of Barclays and Mastercard, and they are looking to get involved by backing such a company in funding. Thus, they are inadvertently promoting the use of cryptocurrencies in this space, adding a lot of legitimacy to the likes of Ripple
Western Union shows interest
Another piece of positive news for Ripple is that Western Union, a company that specialises in sending money across borders and may well feel under threat from cryptocurrencies, is interested in testing out xRapid.
Western Union’s Global Money Transfers General Manager in Asia Pacific, Molly Shea, said in a podcast interview with Analyse Asia:
“We’re piloting some settlement tests with Ripple for certain corridors, the US Dollar and the Mexican peso is one example...learning about possible opportunities...the options that we choose need to be legitimate and widely acceptable for consumer use.”
Once again, this shows that the other major financial institutions are starting to see a value, rather than a threat, in the likes of XRP and Ripple.
More good news for Ripple
It is news like this which points in a good direction for Ripple and cryptocurrency in general as there is a change in the air. More use cases and experimentation in cryptocurrency to prove its value will lead to an uptick in demand, and thus boost the market down the line.