Western Union is testing transactions with Ripple
Ripple said the two companies were working towards piloting xRapid, which uses Ripple’s XRP token.
Western Union is currently testing transactions with cryptocurrency and blockchain company Ripple.
Ripple confirmed the tie-up, tweeting that the two companies were working to pilot xRapid, which uses XRP.
— Ripple (@Ripple) February 14, 2018
During an earnings call, posted on teleconferencing website Chorus Call, Western Union chief executive Hikmet Ersek said that the company has been looking into blockchain for “some time”, examining applications for “processing settlements, working capital optimization and also in terms of regulation and compliance”.
“We have had some tests with Ripple, within some corridors on the settlement side,” Ersek said.
“It is definitely part of our innovation… but so far, it’s not something that’s going to change the environment.”
Speaking directly about cryptocurrencies, Ersek asserted that “currency is currency, right?”
“I think the big advantage that we are seeing globally is that we can turn any currency to use cases… so people really can use the currency to for their own day-to-day expenses.
“If digital currencies are ordinary currency, which is used by a country then we could do it… but it’s hard to do a carwash with bitcoin, or go buy milk or pay school fees with bitcoin in Bangladesh or in Ghana or in Chile.
“So it’s important for us that this currency [cryptocurrency] should be regulated, so we can really serve the customers in the right way.”
Ersek also stressed that Western Union operates in a regulated environment and said that one if its “strongest assets” is that the company is regulated across 200 countries, with compliance program for 40,000 corridors.
He added that Western Union’s digital currency group also has “some investments” in cryptocurrencies.
The money transfer company’s chief financial officer Raj Agrawal told Bloomberg News that Western Union is assessing the benefits of distributed ledger technology (blockchain) and is in a “testing phase” with Ripple.
Ripple’s distributed ledger, RippleNet, provides real-time messaging, plus financial clearing and settlements. Ripple has already signed over 100 partners who utilize its RippleNet blockchain.
UAE Exchange, a leading United Arab Emirates (UAE) global money transfers company, is the latest business to adopt the RippleNet blockchain network in order to process real-time payment solutions for its customers.
As with Ripple’s recent partnership agreement with Chinese payment provider LianLian to conduct overseas transactions, the deal between Ripple and UAE Exchange will not utilize Ripple’s XRP token for liquidity.
After teaming with international currency transfers firm MoneyGram in January, Ripple recently announced that IDT Corporation and MercuryFX will pilot xRapid to settle retail remittances and corporate transactions.