Blockchain cross-border payments: the companies to watch for Q3 2018

The ones to watch using DLT and blockchain to solve real problems.

By Edwin Boadu | 7 August 2018

This list is designed to highlight blockchain remittance, payment and settlement companies that are pioneering the use of distributed ledger technology (DLT) and blockchain.

These companies recognise that for cryptocurrency to survive, the underlying technology must solve real world problems and frictions. A key space ripe for innovation, worth beyond a trillion dollars, is cross-border payments. As the world has opened its borders in line with globalisation, so too has the need to send money abroad.

For the average individual consumer, cryptocurrencies offer an attractive alternative to small transfers, but the real test of blockchain’s mettle lies in its ability to disrupt the B2B space, providing payment solutions for SMEs and, in the case of a successful few, corporates.

Here is the bobsguide list of cross-border payment companies to watch for 2018.  

 

Abra (US)

Founded in 2014, Abra uses a Bitcoin-based multi-signature wallet as a back-end-infrastructure, yet, funds are denominated in US dollars.

The company provides, through an app, person-to-person money transfers. The company’s users are able to store digital cash, in any given currency, directly on their mobile devices with the aid of a credit card or through an Abra Teller.

To use the service, it is not required to possess a bank account, instead, the user can simply send funds to anyone with a smartphone. Once the other person receives the money, they will have the option to withdraw the cash from the app via Abra Teller.

 

veem (US)

The B2B payments company, with the aid of a blockchain as a new settlement rail, operates under an uncomplicated and frictionless methodology. The company allows businesses and payment platforms to spend and receive payments in the respective country’s local currency.

 

Coins.ph (Philippines)

The Philippines-based bitcoin exchange-company offers a bitcoin wallet-app that enables users to buy and sell bitcoins. The wallet-app also functions as a mobile remittance service that converts bitcoins to Philippines pesos. Users are able to select different banks and payments processor, provided by the app, with the added advantage of useful notes that advise on how much each processor charges in fees.

Other functions of the app include: the possibility to send money overseas from the user’s existing bitcoin balance and the deposit of cash in any bitcoin in any ATM around the world. While currently only operational in The Philippines, coins.ph remains a useful example of successful local access in an emerging market to the global cryptomarket, bridging mainstream commerce.

 

Ripple (US)

Ripple and its venture SBI Ripple Asia, is an enterprise blockchain-solution-provider, developing a blockchain-powered payment app with 61 banks to speed up transaction within Japan. Three members of the Japan bank consortium – SBI Net Sumishin Bank, Sugura Bank and Resona Bank – will be the first to go live on the mobile app, MoneyTap, in Autumn 2018.

Once the app expands to more and more members of the Japan bank consortium will have the potential to provide on-demand payments to the vast majority of the country.

Through Ripple’s own XRP ledger, intended to settle international payments by creating regional liquidity hubs using XRP instead of a correspondent banking system.

Ripple says that banks will pay about 90% less in cross-border fees and drastically reduce the time taken to settle international payments.

Read our interview with David Schwartz, CTO of Ripple.

 

CoinPip (Singapore)

Another B2B payments company to grace this list, CoinPip uses blockchain technology to allow businesses to send money safely and quickly to China, Philippines, Indonesia and India.

Such a transfer takes a simple and straightforward methodology: the user logs into the app and enters the recipient’s email-ID, the currency and amount. CoinPip is certainly one to watch as the emerging market continues to grow.

 

TransferB (Ireland)

Winner of Deloitte's Ireland Tech Competition in 2015, TranserB leverages the bitcoin-payment-network and blockchain technologyto give users (especially students) the ability to send payments around the world at a faster and cheaper rate. Founded by two university students, Claire Kelleher and Peter Nagle, the start-up is eying the £35bn remittance industry and aims to offer a flat 2% fee and complete transfers within 24 hours.

With Chinese students continuing the trend of studying overseas, a flat 2% fee is an attractive offer for their international payments needs, particularly tapping into the millennial emerging market and the ability to upsell the service.

 

BitPesa (Africa)

BitPesa provides, via the use of blockchain technology, a simple way for small businesses to send and collect payments to and from Africa. With one easy payment from nearly anywhere in the world, the employer can send money to their employees, distributors or suppliers in Africa. To minimise FX risk, payments are processed in a day.

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