Marcus Treacher, the SVP of Customer Success at American Fintech Ripple, notes that the world’s cross-border payments market is highly fragmented. But he claims that international transactions are now being redefined by “the power of ISO standardization” and the innovative technology approach of RippleNet, which is a “decentralized” network of global financial institutions that are conducting transactions through Ripple’s payment networks.
Treacher reveals that cross-border payments are “on the cusp of transformation.” He claims that blockchain or distributed ledger technology (DLT) and digital assets such as XRP can potentially offer a more “frictionless” global payments solution.
“At Ripple, our mission is to remove friction from global payments and enable money to move the same way that information does today—digitally and instantly. We work with banks and payment providers to modernize legacy systems using blockchain and digital assets to make sending money around the world easier, faster and more reliable.”
He adds that Ripple’s goal is to offer real-time connections to RippleNet to banks and payment service providers. Treacher confirms that RippleNet follows the ISO2022 standard, allowing these organizations to send and receive funds on behalf of their clients and also between each other “immediately, with finality and transparency.” He claims that funds can be transferred quickly regardless of how much money is being sent or the currencies being used.
Treacher also mentions that being able to send money quickly across borders is not the only problem we need to address. He explains that funds must go to the intended or correct accounts in the right country and “at the right time to allow payments to actually flow.”
“This need to pre-fund accounts is called the Liquidity Problem, and is one of the causes of hold-ups with cross-border payments. … Ripple has developed … On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) which uses … XRP to enable funds to be sent to destination accounts immediately – literally on-demand, rather than days beforehand.”
He claims that XRP is quite useful for conducting faster cross-border payments. It makes the process more affordable and overall more efficient, Treacher says. He explains that XRP is meant to serve as a bridge between two different fiat currencies, which should ensure that funds are transferred and received “in a given geography’s or user’s local currency instantaneously.”
He claims RippleNet is able to reduce the settlement period on international payments from 3 business days to only 3 seconds, which makes the process “truly frictionless.”
Treacher says that the crypto-asset market has been dominated or monopolized by high-net-worth individuals and “crypto enthusiasts.” But he claims that there are now an increasing number of indicators that show that institutional investors might be entering this market. He confirms that crypto markets recently set all-time highs in futures contracts’ open interest.
He points out that 60% of insitutions responding to Fidelity’s survey said they’d consider allocating a certain percentage of their porfolio to digital assets. He claims that this is a significant number when we consider the survey was completed before the COVID-19 outbreak. While not specifically mentioning Bitcoin (BTC), which Ripple considers a major threat and competitor to its business, Treacher notes that digital assets have been performing as well, if not better, than precious metals like gold.
He argues that banks and other financial service providers that are able to bring cross-border payment methods “into the modern world and provide a truly frictionless experience that reduces the many pain points consumers are facing today will emerge as leaders in tomorrow’s global payment industry.”
It’s true that Fintech firms like TransferWise are providing reliable and cost-effective ways for individuals and businesses to transfer funds, globally. Meanwhile, Bitcoin (BTC) has emerged as an increasingly popular way to transfer digital value in a peer to peer and permissionless manner.
However, Ripple has been the subject of several major lawsuits, with many XRP holders alleging that the company has been driving down the token’s price by selling large quantities of it, so that it can fund its business operations. During the past few years, the XRP market cap had briefly overtaken Ethereum (ETH) to become the second-largest digital asset by market share, trailing on Bitcoin (BTC).
But Ethereum’s market cap has now surged past the $40 billion mark, while XRP has dropped to fourth place (behind Tether’s USDT) with a market cap of only around $11 billion. While it’s true that Ripple has entered some notable partnerships, such as with MoneyGram, it remains unclear why a token like XRP is necessary when trying to send cross-border payments.