Malaysia's CIMB, Ripple Partner in Cross-Border Payments

(Bloomberg) -- Malaysian lender CIMB Group Holdings Bhd. is signing on to the cross-border payments network run by blockchain technology firm Ripple, the two companies said Thursday.

Ripple’s technology will be used in CIMB’s SpeedSend remittance product, according to a joint press release. SpeedSend is available in various Southeast Asian markets, including the Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand, according to its website.

The financial services industry is increasingly experimenting with the technology underlying cryptocurrencies. Earlier this year, Ant Financial and Standard Chartered Plc introduced a blockchain-based remittance service between Hong Kong and the Philippines.

Ripple, which says it has more than 100 banks and payment providers on its RippleNet network, wants to compete in international money transfers with the the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, or Swift. It has a long way to go to catch up to the incumbent, which has more than 11,000 customers in 200 countries, according to the Swift website.

The total value of global remittances is forecast to rise to $642 billion this year, from $613 billion in 2017, according to the World Bank.

Ripple is also associated with the cryptocurrency XRP. However, CIMB is using Ripple’s xCurrent technology, which does not utilize XRP, according to Ripple senior vice-president Marcus Treacher.

Digital currencies have faced broad declines this year, amid increased global regulatory scrutiny and a lack of widespread mainstream adoption.

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