Euro Exim Bank, a London-based bank primarily focused on providing financial services for export and import companies, will become the first bank to publicly announce it is using the XRP cryptocurrency for cross-border payments.
Ripple announced Tuesday that Euro Exim Bank, alongside payment startups JNFX, SendFriend, Transpaygo and FTCS, would be leveraging XRP for cross-border transactions. Further, Ahli Bank of Kuwait, BFC Bahrain, ConnectPay, GMT, WorldCom Finance, Olympia Trust Company, Pontual/USEND and Rendimento have signed on to RippleNet.
As a result, the startup now has more than 200 customers worldwide, according to Tuesday’s reveal.
Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse said the company is now signing two-three customers per week, and last year saw a 350 percent increase in customers sending live payments.
“We’re beginning to see more customers flip the switch and leverage XRP for on-demand liquidity,” he added in a statement.
Euro Exim Bank director Kaushik Punjani noted that his bank’s customers have traditionally been restricted from settling transactions quickly and cost efficiently. This issue extends to both major corporations and individual remitters, he said, adding:
“Working collaboratively with Ripple and selected counterparts, we have designed, tested and are implementing both xCurrent and xRapid in record time, and we look forward to the benefits these will bring our customers.”
David Lighton, CEO and co-founder of remittance service SendFriend, similarly touted the focus on cheap cross-border payments as the main benefit of using xRapid.
“A distributed ledger-based solution, leveraging Ripple’s XRP asset allows us to settle transactions in real time, with lower capital requirements and lower costs. We’re proud to partner with Ripple to offer our customers cheaper, faster, payments to the developing world,” he told CoinDesk.
A number of other companies have already begun using xRapid, which uses the XRP cryptocurrency, for international payments, including MercuryFX, Cuallix and Catalyst Corporate Credit Union. However, while the three firms provide financial services, none possess a banking license like Euro Exim does.
In the past, other companies including Western Union, MoneyGram, Viamercias and IDT have trialed xRapid, though none are utilizing the platform in full production at this time.