The adaptation of blockchain technology is progressing on a daily basis. More and more companies recognize the potential and the resulting opportunities. A new payment platform has integrated Ripple’s xRapid enterprise software to reduce the cost of cross-border payments.
The payment platform SendFriend (https://www.sendfriend.io/) is supported by the MIT Media Lab, Barclays, Ripple, Techstars and Mastercard. SendFriend will integrate xRapid into the internal process flow. Not only to save costs but also to increase the speed and security for transactions.
SendFriend: Launch this year
The further business plan envisages that SendFriend will be launched later this year. The platform is aimed primarily at people based in the Philippines who want to send money quickly and cheaply to their family members. The project received the MIT Media Lab Translational Innovation Alliance Award for giving local people who do not have access to banking services a way to move funds across borders.
David Lighton, CEO of the company, states that xRapid offers a new level of efficiency and gives people as well as companies the opportunity to work more effectively with their capital:
“That allows us on the back end to be more efficient with our capital. These are real-time settlements so we don’t have to do pre-funding, we don’t have to park money in the receiving corridor and then manage the foreign exchange risk. We can just do it one by one as the transactions go through”
The average transaction cost at Western Union is 7%. SendFriend wants to drastically reduce that value to 2% to 3%. Working for the World Bank for several years, Lighton found it was incredibly hard to send money from one place to the other in an emergency.
Often the cost of “lightning transfers” is more than $ 10 or $ 20 even though the actual transfer amount is only $ 500. According to Lighton, this can not and must not happen when financially disadvantaged people have to send money quickly to their relatives.
Ripple took up this fact in a new promotional video, showing that it is faster to put money in your own backpack, get on a plane and fly to the destination to hand over the money to the recipient. This is often faster than international transfers:
— Ripple (@Ripple) October 30, 2018