SBI Ripple Asia recently announced that they had formed a partnership with SBI Remit along with Vietnamese bank Tien Phong Commercial Joint Stock Bank to launch a blockchain-powered remittance service between the countries of Vietnam and Japan. The money transfer service will be the first such venture between both countries to utilize distributed ledger technology, in this case specifically Ripple Lab’s RippleNet, and will be denominated in real currency.
SBI Ripple Asia is a joint venture partnership between SBI Holdings – also known as Strategic Business Innovator Group – a Tokyo-based financial services company, and Ripple – the San Francisco-headquartered fintech company that developed blockchain-based global payments system RippleNet – in 2016 with a focus on developing commercial platforms backed by innovative technology and solutions such as blockchain to enable financial and banking institutions to provide their customers a smooth, immaculate experience when carrying out payments and settlements. They established a consortium with the participation of many of Japan’s banking institutions to build a Ripple-powered payment platform, RC Cloud, with the aim of unifying foreign and domestic exchanges as more and more Japanese companies and businesses expand and operate beyond their domestic home market.
SBI Remit, a subsidiary of SBI Holdings, is a money transfer organization operating in Japan that offers fast, responsive remittance services due to its strategic partnership with American company MoneyGram International, a money transfer service company that has a presence in more than 190 countries throughout the world. Their aim is to offer their customers a seamless and rapid remittance experience, supported by low fees and high security features.
According to SBI Ripple Asia, there are presently more than 330,000 Vietnamese residents living in Japan, and their population grew almost 5 times over the last 6 years. Grasping the opportunity to better serve the booming Vietnamese population residing in Japan with faster, more secure remittance services, SBI Ripple Asia formed an alliance with SBI Remit to offer the country’s first RippleNet-backed money transfer service. The service is secure and will speed up remittances quite considerably for its Vietnamese customers.
A representative from the SBI Group, Yoshitaka Kitao, noted that Vietnam’s economy, which is currently undergoing a period of fast growth, is an attractive destination for investors and businesses that want to leverage its market opportunities. Their use of RippleNet as the foundation for the Vietnam-Japan remittance service will distinguish themselves further from the competition. Additionally, he said that the SBI Group is open to developing more money transfer services that may potentially include crypto-assets somewhere down the line.
According to Nguyen Hung, chief executive officer of Tien Phong Bank, the collaboration with SBI Ripple Asia is a watershed moment as the new remittance service provides their customers a much faster and more secure international money transfer experience. The bank is appreciative of the support given by SBI Holdings, which is also the bank’s shareholder with 19.9% of its shares.
The use of RippleNet, a global payments system that utilizes the latest advancements and innovations in blockchain technology, by SBI Ripple Asia and SBI Remit as the basis for their Japan-Vietnam remittance service signals the advent of blockchain-powered solutions and applications that can transform and impact the financial services space. As the number of migrant workers seeking better job opportunities outside of their home countries grow, distributed ledger technology remittance services powered by blockchain will surely become more and more commonplace.