Ripple, the cryptocurrency-based money transfer and payments network launched in 2012, is working with payments fintech Onafriq to expand remittance capabilities in Africa and across its borders with various Gulf nations, the U.K. and Australia.
Three new blockchain-based payments corridors will open between Onafriq users in Africa and customers of PayAngel in the U.K., Pyypl in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), and Zazi Transfer in Australia, according to an announcement Wednesday at Swell, Ripple’s annual conference, in Dubai.
“Onafriq is a major payment player in Africa that serves 400 million mobile wallets,” said Monica Long, president at Ripple, in an interview. “We are excited about this because it also contributes to Ripple payments being able to cover 90% of FX markets.”
Ripple has become a mascot of resistance within the crypto industry for standing up to, and partially prevailing against, what is largely regarded as a heavy-handed and reactionary U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
Meanwhile, the price of XRP spiked this week, fueled by the approval of the token by the Dubai Financial Services Authority, as well as Ripple’s involvement in a central bank digital currency (CBDC) project with National Bank of Georgia (NBG). XRP, an open source project used by Ripple, acts as a bridge between two fiat currencies to facilitate faster and more efficient cross-border payments.
In addition, Ripple announced various product enhancements and license updates, including a focus on payments between enterprises and smaller businesses. Ripple has been steadily building up its collection of licenses, including money transmitter licenses in the U.S. and an institutional payments license in Singapore, with recent filings in the U.K. and EU.
“Our set of licenses means we can serve a bigger market,” Long said. “Previously, we only served licensed financial institutions and now we're able to serve enterprises and SMEs. So for example, importer/exporters and paying suppliers overseas, or paying employees in a company that has freelance developers in different parts of the world.”
UPDATE (Nov. 8, 11:09 UTC): Clarifies relationship between Ripple and XRP in fifth paragraph.
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