With $ 78 billion in remittances from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) combined in 2020, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is home to two of the top three remittance corridors in the world. The region is also in a rapid transition towards digitization and has one of the most advanced financial regulatory environments in the world.
Today, Ripple announced its ongoing contribution to this hotbed of fintech innovation with the very first on-demand liquidity (ODL) delivery in the Middle East. Through a partnership with international blockchain-based financial services company Pyypl, the two will bring instant and affordable remittances to the region, starting with the United Arab Emirates.
Faster and cheaper transfers
Traditional wire transfers are often plagued by slow, expensive, and opaque transactions. For the many people who depend on these funds to cover rent, living expenses, or one of life’s many emergencies, late or non-payment can be disastrous.
Utilizing ODL and leveraging XRP, Pyypl provides instant, low-cost transfer options for people sending money to and from the area (Note: XRP is not held in the UAE and transactions do not include the AED currency as part of the payment flow) . This is part of Pyypl’s larger mission to enable digital payments for the 1 billion financially underserved smartphone users in the Middle East and Africa at large.
In addition to customer-facing services, Pyypl will also use ODL to eliminate the costly prepaid accounts normally required with traditional cross-border payments. Pyypl co-founder and CEO Antti Arponen called these legacy accounts an “inefficient use of capital,” Antti Arponen said unlocking these previously trapped funds can help the company grow and scale more.
Ripple is accelerating MENA momentum
This announcement builds on Ripple’s already growing presence in the region. In 2020, Ripple set up a regional headquarters in Dubai to support our clients such as the Qatar National Bank and Al Ansari Exchange in the UAE – our latest additions to the network – who are using RippleNet to improve cross-border payments.
All of this leads to a record year for Ripple in MENA, with RippleNet already logging four times the transaction volume since the beginning of the year compared to the whole of 2020.
MENA’s commitment to innovation
These milestones and financial advances are possible because the forward-thinking regulators in the region paved the way for this type of innovation to thrive. Countries like the United Arab Emirates, which understand the need to modernize global payments, have taken a progressive stance towards the use of new technologies and products when they go to market.
RippleNet’s executive director for APAC and MENA, Brooks Entwistle, said he was encouraged by progress to date and excited about the future as executives in the region were very focused on paving the way for necessary financial improvements.
To learn more about how ODL can help you enable instant cross-border payments in your area, contact us today.