The Ripple Effect – Can The Silicon Valley Decentralised Payments Co. Build On This Week’s New Client Wins?

California based blockchain instant payments platform Ripple has emerged as the leader of a vanguard of decentralised ledger payments solutions that is threatening the hegemony of current FX payments solution incumbent SWIFT. Read more “The Ripple Effect – Can The Silicon Valley Decentralised Payments Co. Build On This Week’s New Client Wins?”

Ripple Attacks SWIFT Market Share In India, Announcing New Partnership With TransferGo

Last month, we looked at the fragmented Indian payments and overseas money transfer market, which, thanks to its size, estimated at over $70 billion, is attracting competitors from Silicon Valley tech giants, disruptive mobile startups, domestic players, and the might of China, a country that is truly mastering micro-payments.

We also suggested that blockchain based international payments could be a coming force in India, and news reaches us this week that European digital payments provider TransferGo is announcing a new partnership with Ripple, the California based blockchain platform designed for real-time payments.

TransferGo CEO Daumantas Dvilinskas declared himself “delighted” to be able to offer remittance customers the ability to send payments in real time, using banking partners based in India, a service that Ripple’s considerably larger, in terms of market share, rival SWIFT is unable to offer.

SWIFT has been the market leader when it comes to providing the “plumbing” for international money transfer since the 1970’s, but in Ripple, which has developed its own decentralised blockchain system, it maybe encountering a genuine rival.

Asheesh Birla, SVP of Product at Ripple has given some insight into the way Ripple is thinking big in India by revealing that “We realised that if you get the top three banks in India onto Ripple, you get 80% of the market share.” Easier said than done perhaps, but Ripple has already overcome some major hurdles, as we have written about here in the past, and has worked with the likes of MoneyGram, and Santander, to revamp and accelerate their overseas payments infrastructure.

Another major attraction that Ripple has to offer is its price. In their press release, Ripple and TransferGo announced that they want to make sending payments from India to Europe, or vice versa, free of charge, which would place SWIFT under further pressure, to try to be as competitive. Granted, Ripple cannot deliver both superfast payments and free money transfers, as its free service, which uses the mid-market rate, takes 2-3 days, but it is an advantage in itself to be able to give customers the opportunity to either save money, or speed up their transfers. 

And then there is mobile. Ripple realises that the way people send money is changing, moving to mobile rather than through banks or traditional Money Transfer Operators (MTOs); after all, even amongst India’s “unbanked” population, most own a mobile phone or at the very least have access to one, and if you can set up a digital wallet and start sending and receiving money in a few swipes and taps, why make the trek to your nearest bank, which could be a few hours travel away?

Ripple has described its market penetration in India as “high”, as its free service, which offers “zero fees and a mid-market rate,” will take at least 2-3 business days to send the cash to its destination.

Marcus Treacher, SVP of Customer Success at Ripple, commented that “TransferGo is a great example of a forward-thinking payment provider that’s leaning in to new technology to facilitate real-time, cross-border money transfers for their customers. That’s a big step forward.”

Whilst there is no disagreeing with that, and Ripple  will doubtless be encouraged by TransferGo’s declaration that the partnership “opens up new horizons for TransferGo to develop additional products and services”, the Californian company with the big ambitions will have to set their sights higher and capture a significant portion of India’s $70 billion dollar  if they really want to frighten SWIFT.

Ant Financial Introduces Low Cost Blockchain Money Transfers for Lucrative Hong Kong Philippines Remittance Channel

Filipino workers in Hong Kong, of which there are more than 180,000, received a potential boost to their finances this week as Jack Ma, the billionaire co-founder of Alibaba, which counts fintech firms Ant Financial and Alipay as subsidiaries, made good on a promise he had made years ago to help his Filipino friends spend less on fees when sending money back home to friends and relatives. Read more “Ant Financial Introduces Low Cost Blockchain Money Transfers for Lucrative Hong Kong Philippines Remittance Channel”

The Week In International Payments; Partnerships Galore, & Currencies Direct Tests Blockchain Solution

It’s been an eventful week in the world of international money transfer. Whilst Trump launches trade wars with Europe, China, Canada, and Mexico (to name a few), which is guaranteed to lead to tricky exchange rate calculations for many businesses (don’t forget to check the latest rates and save up to 80% on fees using The Money Cloud), there has plenty of activity in the consumer international payments market too.

Here’s how the big stories have broken down in the past week or so. Read more “The Week In International Payments; Partnerships Galore, & Currencies Direct Tests Blockchain Solution”

The Best Money Transfer Apps of 2018 So Far…?

Modern technology, and mobile tech especially, is making a multitude of lifestyle services easier to deal with; provided you are up to speed with the latest tap, swipe, scan and track technology, many things, including sending money overseas, can be done faster, easier, and cheaper using apps. Read more “The Best Money Transfer Apps of 2018 So Far…?”

World’s First Blockchain Based Trade Finance Transaction Completed By HSBC Using R3’s Corda

There is nothing unremarkable about a shipment of soybeans from Argentina to Malaysia; nor is it surprising when a transaction of this nature is financed using a letter of credit, issued by one bank, on behalf of the buyer, to another. Read more “World’s First Blockchain Based Trade Finance Transaction Completed By HSBC Using R3’s Corda”

Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp & Financial Group To Build International Money Transfer Network Using Ripple’s Distributed Ledger Tech

Mitsubishi Corp and Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group are the latest major financial institutions to announce they will be launching an international money transfer system built on the blockchain. Specifically, the firms will be using the distributed ledger technology developed by California based Ripple, which has also been trialled by the likes of Western Union, MoneyGram, the Saudi Central Bank, and China’s Lian Lian bank. Read more “Japan’s Mitsubishi Corp & Financial Group To Build International Money Transfer Network Using Ripple’s Distributed Ledger Tech”

“World’s Best Digital Bank” DBS Launches Real Time Cross Border Payments Tracking Using SWIFT gpi

DBS, the Singapore based bank with a network of 280 branches across 18 key markets in Asia, today announced a partnership with bank messaging service SWIFT to use its Global Payments Innovation service (gpi) to offer 200,000 corporate and SME clients increased transaction visibility and speed for their overseas money transfer activities. Read more ““World’s Best Digital Bank” DBS Launches Real Time Cross Border Payments Tracking Using SWIFT gpi”

Santander Breaks The Mould For Banks With Blockchain Based International Money Transfer Service

The Spanish bank Santander has announced that it is launching an international money transfer service that will run using blockchain technology in an attempt to take on disruptive fintech startups such as TransferWise and Revolut, who have been eating into banks’ share of a market worth an estimated $600bn per annum. Read more “Santander Breaks The Mould For Banks With Blockchain Based International Money Transfer Service”

The Best Options For Sending Money To & From India

Last week we revealed that the remittance corridor between the United States and Mexico is the world’s biggest.

World bank data reveals that the US is the largest global sender of remittances, and Mexico the fourth largest receiver; but now let’s consider how to make international money transfers to and from the world’s biggest remittance receiving country: India. Read more “The Best Options For Sending Money To & From India”

Can Cryptocurrencies Like Bitcoin & Ripple Become The Future of International Money Transfer?

Recently, 2 Money Transfer giants; Western Union, and MoneyGram, began working with the cryptocurrency Ripple.  Ripple is a blockchain based solution that could have been purpose built for the money transfer industry. It is part real-time-gross-settlement (RTGS) operation; a genuine SWIFT payments rival; and part currency exchange mechanism, capable of using its distributed ledger technology to move money across all of the world’s remittance corridors on behalf of businesses, or individuals. Read more “Can Cryptocurrencies Like Bitcoin & Ripple Become The Future of International Money Transfer?”

IMF Chief Christine Lagarde Weighs In On Crypto Regulation Debate

Bitcoin may be seen in some quarters as the answer to too much bureaucracy, red tape, and creaking, antiquated, legacy banking systems, but it can’t escape being regulated, according to IMF chief Christine Lagarde, who gave an interview to CNN Money last week. Read more “IMF Chief Christine Lagarde Weighs In On Crypto Regulation Debate”

$500m Crypto Heist Puts Bitcoin, Digital Currency Security Issues In Spotlight Again

Bitcoin, and the crypto-economy that it presides over as the king of the digital currencies, is enduring a tough January. Read more “$500m Crypto Heist Puts Bitcoin, Digital Currency Security Issues In Spotlight Again”

Exploding The Bitcoin Myth; The Factors Behind The Rise, & Recent Fall Of Crypto

Was bitcoin ever designed for the kind of mass adoption we are seeing today?

In theory, it was. Anybody who has read the original bitcoin white paper will know that the crypto coin was designed for one very specific purpose; to be the currency of the internet. Read more “Exploding The Bitcoin Myth; The Factors Behind The Rise, & Recent Fall Of Crypto”

The Bitcoin Phenomenon; Is It A Myth That We Are All Buying The Digital Currency?

This content is sourced and brought to you by The Money Cloud – comparing the best rates for sending money overseas offered by hand-picked, regulated brokers and money transfer agencies.

Most of us have heard of it, but are we buying it? After a rocky first few years, when it was seen as little more than a vehicle for the ill-gotten gains of drug dealers, money launderers and terrorists, bitcoin, the concept, successfully overcame the doubters in 2017, leading to a stunning hike in the price of the digital currency, from less than $1,000 dollars in January, to above $19,500 by the end of December. Read more “The Bitcoin Phenomenon; Is It A Myth That We Are All Buying The Digital Currency?”

What Does 2018 Have In Store For Bitcoin? 5 Bold Predictions

This content is sourced and brought to you by The Money Cloud – comparing the best rates for sending money overseas offered by hand-picked, regulated brokers and money transfer agencies.

Bitcoin has been the talk of the second half of 2017, but can the digital currency continue to exert the same fascination, and the same obscene (to some, to others it’s undervalued!) valuation as we enter a new year?

Try as we might to gaze into our crystal balls, it is very hard to predict what factors may affect the short term price, long term adoption, or medium term public perception of bitcoin, yet these are the very factors upon which the cryprocurrency stands or falls.

Below, we list 5 things that we think could affect bitcoin fortunes in 2018, and examine what the potential fallout might be. Sadly we cannot tell you what the price of one bitcoin will be at this time next year, but the below may help you frame your own thoughts and predictions. Read more “What Does 2018 Have In Store For Bitcoin? 5 Bold Predictions”

5 Reasons Bitcoin Is On The Up & Up (&Up?)!

Surely it cannot be long now before the rights to “Bitcoin – The Movie” are sold. If recent history is anything to go by, if somebody sold them now at the current bitcoin / dollar exchange rate, for £1 million, by the time of the film’s release they could be worth as much as…well, nobody knows in reality, but nearly everybody has an opinion now.

A movie would also be a great opportunity for the Winklevoss twins to reprise the roles they had in the last movie about entrepreneurs, disruptive products, billionaires and controversy – The Social Network. In this version, however, it looks like the twins could be the stars of the show.

To find out why, plus 4 more reasons to be cheerful about bitcoin, read our 5 reasons below outlining why its perfectly possible that the price of bitcoin which keeps on going up, and up, and up, and down a bit (hard / soft fork?), and then up again – is not finished yet – not, perhaps, by a long shot. Read more “5 Reasons Bitcoin Is On The Up & Up (&Up?)!”

62 Of The Most Insane Facts About Bitcoin – In An Infographic!

This content is sourced and brought to you by The Money Cloud – comparing the best rates for sending money overseas offered by hand-picked, regulated brokers and money transfer agencies.

price of bitcoin moves so fast these days, that no sooner is a new analysis of the sometimes controversial, often entertaining digital currency published, we have to tear the arguments down and rehash the theory to justify the latest surge in price. Read more “62 Of The Most Insane Facts About Bitcoin – In An Infographic!”

In London, Even IMF Chief Christine Lagarde Is Suggesting Digital Currencies Could Be The Future!

This content is brought to you by The Money Cloud – comparing the best rates for sending money overseas offered by hand-picked, regulated brokers and money transfer agencies

When it comes to debating digital currencies, increasingly it seems to be the case that we must ask “whose side are you on?”

Are you a sceptic, like JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, or billionaire hedge fund veteran Ray Dalio, or Nobel prize winning economist Robert Shiller, all of whom have bashed bitcoin recently, calling it a “a fraud”, and “a bubble”?

Or are you a “believer”, like Fidelity CEO Abigail Johnson, or even International Monetary Fund chief and economist Christine Lagarde? Read more “In London, Even IMF Chief Christine Lagarde Is Suggesting Digital Currencies Could Be The Future!”

10 Unexpected FinTech Developments Of 2017 (& What They Mean For The Industry)

Fintech is now one of the world’s best-known startup buzzwords, and with good reason.

The fusion of the finance and technology industries has been a long time coming – some might say too long – but now that the union has happened, sparks have really begun to fly. Read more “10 Unexpected FinTech Developments Of 2017 (& What They Mean For The Industry)”