Ripple has cut the ribbon on xRapid to the interest of many financial institutions.
Ripple's ongoing Swell conference, headlined by former US president Bill Clinton, has brought out a lot of new developments, including Clinton's call for more cryptocurrency regulatory developments, asserting that further cryptocurrency regulation is needed because "you can't apply old regulatory regime[s] to a new technology."
But markets might have been more interested in Ripple's announcement that xRapid was now commercially available, and being taken up by a range of new customers, right on schedule.
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Old and new faces
They are, respectively, two money transfer services and a wholesale cooperative financial institution that serves more than 1,400 member and client credit unions throughout the United States, and all have found benefits in quicker and cheaper cross-border payments via Ripple.
It's also worth noting that all of them have been involved with Ripple for a while now, to probe the realities of solutions like xRapid before signing on the dotted line. With recent rumours suggesting that Ripple is looking to fold all its services into "RippleNet," this might suggest a lot more uptake of xRapid's XRP-powered solution from Ripple's many other experimental partners. Although some of them, such as Western Union, haven't exactly been enthralled with the results so far.
Overall though, Ripple's new signings are keen to start saving.
"Mercury FX has been working closely with Ripple for more than a year to bring the power of RippleNet to our customers. In pilot tests we saw the benefits of xRapid, and we’re excited to roll commercial payments out within the quarter," said Mercury FX founder and CEO Alastair Constance. "The time to replace slow, expensive payments architecture is now because the need for global access to smooth-flowing capital has never been so acute."
"The promise of digital assets has always been faster, more efficient payments. That's why we started exploring xRapid for our financial services platforms Payllix and Cuallet – to help our customers whose livelihoods depend on sending micro-payments easily and quickly to Mexico. Now, our customers can finally realize that promise," agrees Nicolas Palacios, CFO of Cuallix.
Both Mercury FX and Cuallix are focused largely on consumer money transfers, which might be why xRapid, which is designed to facilitate quick low-volume payments as needed, is right up their alley when xCurrent may not have been.
Catalyst's situation might be a bit different, seeing Ripple's offerings as a replacement for outdated Swift wire transfers.
"The traditional international wire experience fails to meet today’s expectations from a price, speed and ease-of-use perspective," Catalyst Corporate Federal Credit Union COO Brad Ganey said bluntly. "Blockchain technology, and specifically Ripple’s xRapid product, resolves all three of these challenges simultaneously. Catalyst Corporate, through our subsidiary companies' technology platforms, will leverage the XRP digital asset to transfer money across borders instantly on behalf of our 1400+ member credit unions. We have signed a production contract and are currently building out our plan."
Plenty of other financial institutions were also in attendance at the Swell conference, including many of Ripple's existing customers, and with the promising results and keenness seen by institutions to date, it might be a fair bet that many of these will start exploring xRapid solutions in more detail in the near future.