Ripple, the company behind cryptocurrency XRP, signs international payment deal with foreign exchange giant UAE Exchange

  • UAE Exchange joining Ripple’s RippleNet network for cross-border payments.
  • The deal comes amid scepticism from some over recent rise of Ripple’s cryptocurrency XRP.
  • UAE Exchange won’t use XRP in its processes.

LONDON – Foreign exchange giant UAE Exchange has signed a deal with San Francisco fintech players Ripple on cross-border payments.

UAE Exchange is joining the startup’s RippleNet network, which uses blockchain technology to power real-time international payments.

UAE Exchange CEO Promoth Manghat said in a statement: “Incorporating Ripple’s blockchain technology into our payments systems will bring customers an enhanced, new payments experience.

“The early adoption of this game-changing technology allows us to offer a competitive service, as it will have an impact on the speed and cost of cross-border transactions.”

Manghat described himself as “a big champion of Blockchain” in an interview with Arabian Business last October and said: “The average consumer may never know about blockchain, but indirectly he will reap the benefits of the efficiencies it brings forth across industries in his everyday life.”

UAE Exchange, whose billionaire owner also owns Travelex, claims to have a 6.75% share of the $US575 billion global remittance market and is aiming to increase that to 10% by 2020. It has 800 branches stretching over 3o countries.

The deal is a boost for Ripple, which has faced recent scepticism in the press. The company’s cryptocurrency, XRP, rocketed to a high of $US3.65 before Christmas, leading the New York Times to examine how many businesses were actually using it. (XRP has since fallen to around $US0.85, as of Friday.)

However, UAE Exchange won’t actually use XRP in its processes. The cryptocurrency is used by Ripple for offering liquidity to institutions but not for international transfer. This nuance is not always made clear.

Dilip Rao, global head of infrastructure innovation at Ripple, said in a statement: “Adding a market leader like UAE Exchange to RippleNet will bring instant, certain, low-cost payments to the millions of retail customers in the UAE who send money abroad.”