02 Oct 2018 Josphat Kariuki
Ripple’s XRP Real Payment Platform Gets Adopted by Three Companies
XRapid uses XRP as its “bridge currency” when facilitating cross-border payments, reducing transactional costs and boosting payment speed.
MercuryFX facilitates international payments, while Cuallix facilitates remittances between Mexico and United States. Earlier, the two companies had announced trials using XRapid. Their new partner, Catalyst Corporate, provides financial services to over 1000 credit unions. The Xrapid pilots have also been run by companies like Western Union. MoneyGram, IDT and Viamericas.
According to Ripple’s SVP of product, Asheesh Birla, these companies won’t implement XRapid at this time. However, the company is moving ahead with some of the companies.
Ripple is the majority holder of XRP tokens, continually selling them through their subsidiary, XRP II. XRP is currently among the most valuable cryptocurrency tokens. Ripple investors also bet that XRapid will obliterate the current cross-border payments infrastructures like SWIFT, Nostro and Vistro.
According to Asheesh, the current cross-border payment infrastructure is archaic and involves lengthy processes. In contrast, Ripple’s XRP platform facilitates quick transactions using XRP by converting fiat to XRP before sending it. The recipient then converts the digital assets into the desired fiat currency. For that, Ripple has partnered with three reputable exchanges (Coins.ph, Bitso and Bittrex) to initiate this process.
Confusion from Clients
Several banks have shown interest in Ripple’s XCurrent platform, with Satander incorporating it into a consumer-friendly mobile app. However, XCurrent doesn’t use XRP. In the past, Ripple has also sent mixed signals regarding the bank's interest in XRapid.
In an interview, Asheesh (SVP of Product at Ripple) revealed that XCurrent was built to get banks onboard before introducing XRapid. According to him, the plan was to start the banks with fiat transfers before introducing digital currencies via XRapid.
In July, David Schwartz (Ripple’s CTO) mentioned that XRapid wasn’t targeting banks. However, Garlinghouse (Ripple’s CEO) predicted XRapid’s adoption by dozens of banks by 2019. A week later, Schwartz added that banks may be slow to adopt distributed ledgers due to scalability and privacy concerns.
Besides the banks adoption, Ripple is making it hard to know who’s adopting this product. In January, Ripple announced its partnership with MercuryFX and IDT Corporation to use XRapid in settling corporate and retail remittances quickly.
Following today’s statement, it’s clear that XRapid is available for commercial use, though MercuryFX isn’t using it commercially. MercuryFX director (Alastair) explained that the company was using XRapid for transferring charity funds to Mexico.
The Monetization of XRapid
While Birla declined to comment on XRapid’s monetization, Alastair of MercuryFX said that money is of little importance when using XRP ledger. Alastair further added that it was the dream that matters to them.
In an email, Tom Channick – Ripple’s corporate communications director – revealed that XRapid is part of their RippleNet Suite, sold to financial firms. The company will also benefit from XRP’s demand increase since it continually sells these tokens.
Birla revealed that XRapid may increase the demand for XRP since fiat must be converted to XRP before the transfer. However, companies like MercuryFX don’t need to hold any XRP coins for investment purposes.