How European Businesses Are Using Blockchain to Expand Globally

At the recent Ripple Regionals event in London, three European business leaders highlighted their successful growth in exciting new markets—from Mexico to the Philippines and beyond.

Each company has used blockchain and digital assets to overcome the challenges of dealing with exotic currencies and new banking partners, making cross-border payments faster, cheaper and more transparent for their customers worldwide. These technologies have also helped them open up fresh markets in a cost-effective way that put them ahead of the competition.

Here are three key learnings consider in expanding your business’s global reach:

1.   Develop growth opportunities

Euro Exim Bank facilitates trade finance across 80 countries, many of which are home to exotic currencies and where liquidity is difficult to get.

“Our challenge,” Head of Compliance and Operations, Graham Bright told the audience at Ripple Regionals, “is to make sure that our customers can get fast, reliable, trusted, secure service.”

The company’s biggest potential growth markets are in Africa and the Eastern Asia. However, many clients in these regions do not have easy access to euros or dollars, so make payments in their local currency. Euro Exim Bank needed an alternative to the slow and expensive existing cross-border payment networks.

Within just three months of first partnering with Ripple, the bank was using xRapid to provide clients with on-demand liquidity for international transactions, instead of needing multiple pre-funded currency accounts around the world.

“We chose xRapid because we need to make it easy to move funds as quickly and as cost-effectively as possible,” says Bright.

By helping Euro Exim Bank to increase the velocity, volume, veracity and value of cross-border payments, Ripple has allowed the company to develop its key growth markets quickly and efficiently.

2.   Access the inaccessible

Mercury FX aims to make money move faster around the world for clients at a lower cost. To overcome the high costs and long turnaround times of the existing SWIFT network, the company turned to Ripple’s innovative technology.

“We trialed xRapid by sending a donation to an orphanage in Mexico that takes kids off street and teaches them how to surf,” recalled CEO Alastair Constance. The trial was so successful, that Mercury FX soon started facilitating payments from a UK business that imports Mexican food.

“The payments are moving a lot faster and cheaper than they would going through SWIFT,” explains Constance.

Mexico had not been a target market for Mercury FX because of the high costs and time-consuming nature of making international payments there. Now Ripple has opened Constance’s mind to other potentially lucrative corridors. Starting with plans to use xRapid in the Philippines, the company is completely rethinking its acquisition strategy and becoming a competitive leader in a range of new markets.

“The really exciting thing that xRapid allows us to open up previously inaccessible markets where our clients can trade freely at optimized speeds and costs.”

3.  Find more value

When TransferGo was founded in 2012, its goal was to provide same or next day international settlements for migrant workers.

“Today, that’s too slow,” notes the company’s Head of Operations, Tomas Snitka. In highly competitive remittances market, customers are looking for the fastest and most cost-effective providers. To overcome one of its biggest challenges – constantly spending time and money integrating with new banking partners – the company decided use RippleNet.

Snitka demonstrated to the Ripple Regionals crowd RippleNet’s impact with a test transaction to India. From the customer logging into their TransferGo account to the recipient getting the funds took just seven minutes.

“The funds are in the account,” he emphasizes. “The recipient can withdraw those funds or go to the shop and spend them. But by next year, even that that will be too slow.” Which is why TransferGo is looking to use xRapid to settle transactions in as little as two minutes.

The benefits for customers are more than just speed. Feedback from people carrying out real-time transactions to India suggests they bring peace-of-mind, as customers are confident that the money will arrive. Ripple is giving TransferGo a real competitive edge in India, which is the largest global cross-border remittance market. The rest of the world will follow.

“Our vision is to become a global real-time payments company,” states Snitka. “We see Ripple as a strategic partner moving forward.”

Moving value globally

Mercury FX’s Alastair Constance drew nods of approval from the Ripple Regionals audience when he said, “I see us becoming truly global citizens in the future and money therefore needs to be a truly global commodity.”

This is an idea that chimes with Ripple’s mission of allowing value to move anywhere around the globe as freely as information, helping businesses in Europe and elsewhere expand their reach across the world.

For more information about how Ripple and RippleNet can offer faster, cheaper and more transparent global payments, please visit us here.