Pay Forward is a new video series from Ripple that highlights the stories of people around the world directly impacted by cross-border payments.
Eight of the top ten countries using mobile payments can be found in Asia. According to a recent survey conducted by PwC, a staggering 86% of the population in China use mobile payment apps and in Thailand, it’s as high as 67% of the population. As the overseas workforce and tourism continue to grow in the region, people continue to look for better ways to send and receive funds across borders.
Sarinya Sumniangngam is one of them. Sarinya lives in rural Nothaburi province of Thailand. At her home she proudly displays a framed photo of a smartly-dressed graduate receiving a diploma from Thai Crown Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.
The young woman in the picture is Sarinya’s daughter, who currently manages a restaurant in Japan. She regularly sends money home to help cover family expenses and pay for her brother’s education.
The cross-border payments process is difficult to navigate
Sumniangnam’s daughter is one of some 1.1 million Thai citizens living and working abroad. The amount sent home by Thai workers has continued to rise over the past decade, with the World Bank estimating $6.72 billion in remittances last year alone. Globally, the research from the International Fund for Agricultural Development shows that over 800 million people depend upon remittances sent by overseas family members.
Despite the prevalence of mobile services in Asia, and the high number of Thai workers sending money home from abroad, the cross-border payments process is incredibly difficult to navigate. In an effort to avoid oppressive fees, some overseas workers occasionally engage in risky behavior such as sending money back with travelers or using illegal remittance services.
There is a faster, more convenient solution for sending money home
Fortunately for Sarinya, her daughter uses a payment rail powered by RippleNet. Her daughter sends money through SBI Remit which connects to Sarinya’s local bank account.
Before her daughter started using the app that Runs on Ripple, Sarinya would have to travel to the bank and fill out numerous forms to receive the money, a process that was both inconvenient and time-consuming. For recipients like Sarinya, speed matters–a family emergency once required an immediate payment for medical bills.
For millions of others, time delays can interfere with covering critical expenses like emergencies, tuition payments and unexpected bills. As the usefulness of electronic payments and QR code technology takes over the payment experience in Asia, Sarinya is a direct beneficiary of Ripple’s vision of the “Internet of Value”–where the exchange of value is as painless as sending an instant message. It’s a vision that replaces travel time, line queues and incompatible banking systems with ease and instant connectivity.
Today, Ripple is focused on addressing the needs of Sarinya and millions of others around the world. RippleNet provides financial institutions who help these workers with a faster, easier and more reliable way of sending money home. If you’re interested in learning how RippleNet can help you better serve your customers, contact us.