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Ripple to expand in Philippines, Mexico

After choosing Philippines and Mexico as liquidity hubs outside the United States, Ripple SVP of Product Asheesh Birla hints at expansion in the same countries.

After heavily investing in remittance-rich Philippines and Mexico, Ripple unveils its plans to further expand its services in the same countries in a live stream posted on YouTube on April 15.

In it, Ripple Senior Vice President of Product Asheesh Birla says that it plans to amp up its systems to ensure better friction-less cross-border payments.

This is welcome news for anyone who has had the misfortune of having to go through the usual way of sending money to different destinations which Birla pointed out in the video.

“You can be YouTubed to the space station, you can actually send emails with just a few clicks and anyone around the world can get it, but sending money, I mean, that is a painful experience,” Birla says.  “If you’ve sent a bank wire or if you’ve actually tried to wire money around the world, you know that it’s faster probably to get that money, get on a plane, and get it to your destination.”

Ripple, which was specifically designed to be an open source protocol that supports fast and cheap transactions, aims to change all that.

And with its 200+ partnerships with central banks, key financial institutions, commercial banks, and payment providers, it well may be on its way to do just that.

Birla is quick to assure the public that Ripple plans to attain such feat without having to bend regulations or render financial institutions obsolete.

“We’re not out there to destroy regulations and financial institutions, ” Birla says.  “We want to be constructive builders not destructors.  We are working together with banks, payment providers, and central banks around the world to make a better and modern financial system to send money cross borders.

One of the ways Ripple intends to achieve such improvement is to provide a platform that allows on-demand liquidity without having to pre-fund.

This is one service that it has already made available to Philippines and Mexico.

Those who want to send money to any of these two territories can now leverage Ripple’s cryptocurrency of choice, XRP, for cross-border payments through its global payments network, RippleNet. The effect? Real-time receipt of remittance minus exorbitant fees.

Birla cites market opportunities and favorable regulations as the reasons why Ripple launched such service in Philippines and Mexico first.

“The market need is there, it’s growing, and the regulations are favorable for using digital assets and cryptocurrencies for cross-border flows, ” Birla explains.

Birla notes that in 2017 alone, Mexico was a $33 billion remittance destination while Philippines registered almost the same number with $31 billion.

The good news is that Ripple plans to expand even further to service more regions throughout the world.

“You only have to integrate once,” Birla says.  “Once you’re integrated with our API (Application Programming Interface), as RippleNet expands and as on-demand liquidity is made available in more destinations, it’s almost a flip of the switch and you get that with very little marginal effort on top of what you’ve already done.”

Some of the popular remittance companies that Filipinos use that utilize Ripple for cross-border payments include Coins.ph, Cebuana Lhuillier, Moneygram, and Western Union.

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