Blockchain tech-giant Ripple is continuing its penetration across Asian markets partnering with payment service providers in Thailand, Malaysia, and South Korea. Innovative Fintech companies such as CoinOne, Azimo, MoneyMatch, and Sentbe are utilising Ripple’s fast expanding global payment network RippleNet. Disruptive Fintech startups are paving the way in competing with banking institutions for cheap money transfers from Europe and across Asia, specifically targeting migrant workers, students and expats living abroad.
Thailand, a country ranked 1st worldwide for mobile banking users is embracing the power of blockchain for remittances and international money transfers. Thailand’s largest bank, is at the frontline of digital banking transformation – Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) have joined RippleNet in order to provide its customers with low-cost cross border payments which can be conducted from mobile devices.
Migrant workers from South-east Asia are a key target market for Siam Bank, with remittances market valued at $68 Billion, transfers can now save customers high transfer fees and up to 5 days for sending money out of Thailand. Siam bank is also working on a QR code-based app that will allow tourists to make payments from mobile devices across Thailand with real-time exchange rates and settlements.
Azimo, a UK based FinTech has leveraged this opportunity to partner with Siam Bank to launch its cross border payments business allowing cheap and fast transactions from Europe to Thailand. By joining RippleNet, Azimo is able to “transfer and clear Pound and Euro to Thai Baht in less than a minute”. While more countries are evolving towards faster digital payments, Azimo co-founder and executive chairman Michael Kent commented “Thailand recently launched their instant payment network, and this partnership with the largest bank in the country allows us to get the time to settle payments down from around 24 hours to an average of 22 seconds”.
Thai FinTech company DeeMoney, the first non-bank institution in Thailand, is also at the forefront of the country’s digital banking revolution, joining RippleNet to focus on remittance pathways from South Korea, Indonesia, Singapore, Israel as well as the Middle East and Gulf regions. DeeMoney is using RippleNet to process inbound payments and provides same day settlement into Thai bank accounts, providing time efficient transactions with cheaper fees and favourable rates.
Malasian based cross-border transfer service – MoneyMatch, found a market sector gap targeting Malaysian Small-Medium Enterprises by providing cheaper FX rates and transfer fees for global supplier payments. While banks in the region only offer expensive rates and typically cater high volume transfers, MoneyMatch helps SMEs to cut costs and saves them from paying extortionate fees for small volume payments. By joining RippleNet MoneyMatch was able to earn credibility and trust from financially cautious SMEs, capture market share of an unfavoured industry sector by banks, and benefit SME supplier relations through providing timely and efficient cash flow management.
South Korea is another pioneer in using smart-tech for infrastructure development and has wide-spread adoption of blockchain technology. The country recently passed a bill to legalise cryptocurrencies and is a leader in digital transformation of their financial economy. FinTech companies Sentbe and CoinOne are taking their market share of the S.Korean remittance market through joining RippleNet. Sentbe targets migrant workers and is focused on opening up corridors to Latin America, while CoinOne operates its overseas remittance app – Cross, and has expanded its network to USA, Canada and Australia.
Although Ripple’s Q1 market report shows significant drops in-market sales from $13.08M down to $1.75M, evidently due to the pandemic, it is clear that the underlying blockchain technology is what can bring value to digital transitions in global finance. Fintech firms are finding their market share in global money transfer competing directly with banks through the ease of RippleNet and its existing global network of financial institutions.
Sources: https://ripple.com/insights/siam-commercial-bank-drives-innovation-and-customer-growth-with-help-from-ripple/ https://www.finextra.com/newsarticle/35532/scb-brings-ripple-powered-cross-border-payments-to-biz-customers https://ripple.com/ripple-press/deemoney-partners-with-ripple-to-empower-faster-and-cheaper-cross-border-money-transfers/ https://www.fnnews.com/news/202004081818362123 https://ripple.com/insights/azimo-and-scb-runs-on-ripple-for-instant-payments-into-thailand/ https://ripple.com/insights/ripple-helps-sentbe-increase-financial-inclusion-for-migrants-in-korea-with-more-efficient-remittances/