SnapSwap announced on Thursday the expansion of its operations to Europe. The gateway’s arrival on the Old Continent means Ripple payments can now be made between European countries through SnapSwap EU and major markets like Australia, Canada, China, Latin America, Singapore, New Zealand, and the US.
SnapSwap EU is available to European citizens as well as “users from countries like Brazil, Indonesia, or Kenya”—as long as they can provide the necessary KYC (Know Your Customer) documents, like a passport or international driver’s license, says founder Denis Kiselev. “Because of regulations, we are also allowed to service the rest of the world,” he said, adding that the company is “working under European law and is fully compliant with financial regulations and requirements.”
Ripple markets around the world.
Kiselev believes the service could have a positive impact on the Ripple network by providing euro liquidity and an alternative to the US dollar. Users can transfer euro funds through the service using SEPA, the EU’s real-time payment network, or wire transfer.
Accounts will be euro-denominated and according to Kiselev, customers are only charged for deposits (0.99% + €0.30) and withdrawals (0.99% + €1.00). There are no fees for payments and trading.
“We’re also working to introduce additional payment options,” Kiselev said. “Our next steps in Europe is to broaden the spectrum of payment instruments that are available, such as iDEAL in Holland.”
“We’re creating additional opportunities for payments and currency trading,” Kiselev said. “You can make fast and cheap international transfers using only Ripple as a payment rail and get an exchange rate that tends to be close to the Interbank Rate, which is much better than anything offered by a traditional bank.”
This remains an ongoing pain point with the existing system because in reality, there’s no such thing as an international wire, explains Erin McCune of payments consultancy firm Glenbrook Partners.
What really happens when you make an international payment. Source: Glenbrook Partners
Without a direct method for global payments, we’re forced to rely on retail services and correspondent banking networks, which can be costly, slow, and often have reserve requirements. This model also restricts the transfer of funds between banks with pre-existing agreements and business relationships.
On the other hand, the Ripple protocol allows automatic and frictionless interoperability between gateways. As such, SnapSwap EU works seamlessly with Astropay’s recently launched Ripple Latam service in seven countries.
The result? Individuals and businesses now have instant access to payments between Europe and Latin America without ever having to worry about currency exchange—in real-time, with any currency, and at minimal cost.
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