Ripple’s ever-growing list of partners and rapid deployment of its solutions around the world is on the verge of marking another milestone as one partner, the Euro Exim Bank, is planning to enhance Ripple’s xCurrent to support a trade finance system – as a replacement for SWIFT. The new system is attempting to embed trade finance instructions into xCurrent.
The bank’s head of compliance and operations, Graham Bright, detailed for the Global Trade Review the possibilities with the new system,
"While Ripple has so far focused its xCurrent product on payments messaging only, Bright says the two parties are now preparing to pilot a capability that embeds trade finance instructions into an xCurrent message…This is similar to what Swift offers today, but on a blockchain-based network that allows for real-time exchange without a middleman. ‘The idea is – apart from just the payment instruction – what if we use the message to transmit a trade finance instruction directly to a counterparty?"
Euro Exim will also begin using xRapid for its cross-border payments in Q1, and is one of the partner banks showing true enthusiasm for Ripple’s solutions.
Ripple’s xRapid solution is seen as a true competitor to SWIFT, and over 200 banks have already tested, or plan to test, the solution to make more efficient and cost-friendly cross-border payments. As an answer to this development, SWIFT is researching a new initiative called the Global Payments Initiative.
Bright, as noted in the Global Trade Review, believes that the 2 solutions are complementary, rather than competitive.
"For the main instructions for trade, SWIFT will be the best method for the moment. We are looking for the fastest and most efficient way of doing things. For payments instructions, Ripple looks a very viable alternative…SWIFT gpi is a good initiative…as an IT project, institutions should be aware that a full implementation typically takes time and effort and also prioritisation of IT resource. Fortunately, we have that IT resource and we are still interested to apply for other Swift services later in the year."
Other members on RippleNet will also benefit from this new messaging system that Euro Exim and Ripple are developing, which is expected in the second quarter of 2019. Given the rapid progress and enthusiasm with which Ripple’s partners are operation, 2019 is shaping up to be a markedly important year for Ripple in terms of adoption.
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