QNB, one of the largest banks in the Middle East and North Africa, will use RippleNet in a new offering that should dramatically cut the price overseas workers pay to send money home.
International payments firm Ripple
has unveiled a potentially important new client in Qatar National Bank, which announced a new remittance service using the global payments product RippleNet
One of the biggest banks in the Middle East and North Africa, QNB said on October 4 that its new service will be launched by QNB Finansbank in Turkey as part of a wider rollout that aims to expand into other key remittance markets in future.
Remittances are a key market for Ripple, which can cut the cost immigrant workers pay to send money home to poor countries. Whereas a $200 transaction can end up costing $15 or more and take several days, the company says its infrastructure completes the same payment in seconds… for pennies.
Heba Al Tamimi, general manager of QNB’s Group Retail Banking, said:
“QNB always innovates to provide the best of service to its customers. This partnership is yet another fintech initiative of the bank to enhance the product offerings for our customers.”
RippleNet is a network of banks and financial institutions using Ripple’s distributed ledger technology-based international payments platform to bypass SWIFT, the slow and expensive intermediary of nearly all interbank money transfers.
While RippleNet uses DLT — the technology blockchain is based on — it does not use XRP, the cryptocurrency so closely associated with the firm that it is widely called Ripple. The company’s On-Demand Liquidity
product uses XRP to let financial institutions immediately settle transactions.
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Ripple was effectively pushed out of the U.S. market after a lawsuit filed on Dec. 23, 2020 by the Securities and Exchange Commission accused it of illegally selling unregistered securities over nearly a decade in the form of the XRP cryptocurrency.
The company is vigorously fighting
the potentially make-or-break suit, which would have an effect far beyond Ripple if the SEC wins. The regulator is seeking a court ruling — the first
— that would effectively classify most cryptocurrencies as securities.
Despite that lawsuit, which scared off U.S. clients including MoneyGram
— in which Ripple has taken an equity stake — the company has seen solid expansion abroad this year, including in the Asia-Pacific region.
In January, it announced that RippleNet would connect Malaysian mobile finance firm Mobile Money with Bangladesh’s bKash — a mobile financial services provider with 45 million customers.