Ripple continues to take actions that help it to get closer to their end goals of being a long-term profitable company focused on banks and the improvement of settlement. Many still have questions as to the viability of their cryptocurrency, XRP. The questions center around the idea of acceptance, will XRP merely be a speculative coin similar to that of penny stocks, with no other real value except for its change in price, or will it be a token that has utility and will grow in value over time?
Ripple addresses XRP concerns
Ripple seems to be striving to make sure that there is confidence in their company and their XRP currency with their latest partnerships. The most recent partnership of note would be Moneygram. Ripple has partnered with Moneygram to conduct cross-border payments. The money transfer giant intends to use XRP in its payments network. XRP will be used to bring efficiencies to their payments network by minimizing costs and maximizing speed.
Moneygram has clarified that they are conducting a test and it will not be used for consumer purposes as of yet.
The next partner in this regard, a partner that might be using XRP in the future, might be Santander. They have brought on board, Santander last year and they will be working with the banking giant to conduct cross-border payments as well. The reason that Santander might be one of the next banking partners to utilize Ripple is because they have worked with Ripple on several occasions and have found success and the success has made them look into using Ripple further.
Ripples in Paradise?
Santander has stated they will not be moving away from traditional payment networks but will use emerging technology to meet the unique needs of their customers. Several customers, ranging from SMEs to financial institutions have mentioned that they are having issues with the uncertainty and lack of transparency in payment processing in the SWIFT system. Ripple offers the elements of speed, clarity, and certainty and Santander believes that Ripple can meet these unique needs of their consumers.
The team has clarified the blockchain technology will take a while to progress, as the world needs to grow to be able to realize the full potential of the blockchain. The team has also commented on established players like SWIFT. They stated that there’s a variety of technologies that are coming to play at the present moment. These technologies are going to be causing shifts across the board, in regulation and financial innovation, the world in general, is adjusting to these technologies slowly.
A fundamental question is the competition between SWIFT and Ripple, investors wonders, is that really a factor, or is that merely hype?
It seems that the team at Ripple believes they will be bringing disruption that would shake up existing players like SWIFT, if it executes well, it will be improving the world of payments networks for the better. An established player like SWIFT will have to adapt or focus on the governance aspect of their organization. SWIFT has been slowly increasing the quality of its technology over time; they’ve recently been signing up banks to implement their global payments innovation (gpi). The SWIFT GPI implementation is supposed to dramatically improve the customer experience in cross-border payments by increasing the speed, transparency and end-to-end tracking of cross-border payments.
The Ripple team believes that the SWIFT GPI technology is merely incremental and not fundamental.
Marcus, a representative from Ripple, compared the Ripple innovation versus the SWIFT gpi innovation.
“To analogise this, when it comes to improving payment technology, it’s not about putting faster trains on the existing rail infrastructure. It’s about building an airplane.”
Yes, there is a fight between Ripple and SWIFT, but the way that Ripple is phrasing their statements, it seems that SWIFT is not, at the present moment, putting up much of a fight. If SWIFT is only slightly improving their technology but Ripple is looking to shift the system fundamentally, that would mean that Ripple would be the winner if they can execute well.
That would mean that potential investors would have to look at the barriers that Ripple has in being able to execute well and making investment decisions from there. Factors an investor may look into are the possibilities of regulation, marketing, competition, trust & confidence in the business as well as the sustainability of the business.
They believe there is a need for rapid change to keep up and provide customers with real value. If financial institutions are not able to keep up and give the consumers better options, they may not live long enough to reminisce about their what they could have done.