RAK Bank, a retail and business bank in the UAE has partnered blockchain startup Ripple to power instant cross-border payments to retail customers to India, the world’s largest remittance receiver.
The age of blockchain-powered, instant, low-cost bank remittances is slowly taking shape. RAK Bank, also known as the National Bank of Ras Al-Khaimah, an emirate in the UAE, is plugging into Ripple’s global bank-centric blockchain network RippleNet to enable live retail remittance payments to customers in Axis Bank in India. The private lender is India’s third-largest private bank and joined Ripple’s bank clientele earlier this year.
In a statement, RAK Bank chief executive Peter England said:
“By using Ripple’s Blockchain solution to power international payments, our customers can now send money home easily and in real time. Joining the Ripple network is in line with not only our Blockchain strategy, but it also allows us to expand our remittance footprint.”
According to a report by the Emirates News Agency, the UAE-based bank will launch ‘instant, frictionless and secure money transfer services’ through its RAK MOneyTransfer (RMT) to Axis bank customers based in India within ‘seconds and with end-to-end visibility’ of the entire process of the payment.
Axis Bank, a major private sector lender in India, partnered San Francisco-based Ripple in January this year. The bank began using Ripple’s blockchain for cross-border remittance rails after early pilots in late 2016.
Axis Bank’s president of transaction banking Himadri Chatterjee added:
While there have been significant innovations in domestic payments, cross border remittance has seen limited developments. Using APIs and distributed ledger technology, there is an opportunity to radically change the way international payments are handled.
RAK Bank joins a growing list of other regional banks and remittance houses tapping Ripple’s technology for cross-border payments. In February, the National bank of Abu Dhabi – the emirate’s largest bank – laid claim to the first retail financial institution in the Middle East to enable real-time remittance with blockchain technology for multiple corridors between the region and Asia. More recently, the UAE Exchange, one of the region’s largest remittance operators with a presence across 31 countries also announced a partnership with Ripple for real-time cross-border payments.