According to Ripple’s Kelvin Lee, half of Ripple’s customers are from the Asia-Pacific region, with the Philippines being one of the most important remittance destinations worldwide.
As the Philippine newspaper Manila Standard reports, Ripple is prospecting further expansion opportunities in the Philippines for its XRP based On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) payment solution, which is open for digital payments. With Coins.ph, SendFriend and Azimo, Ripple already has three partners covering the Philippine market.
According to Manila Standard, Ripple is helping Filipinos from around the world to send money to their families in the Philippines faster and at lower cost. Kelvin Lee, the Singapore-based head of Ripple for Southeast Asia, explained in an e-mail interview with the newspaper that Ripple has developed On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) to solve the “liquidity trap” in international payments.
As Lee further explained to the Philippine newspaper, ODL is using the cryptocurrency XRP as a bridge currency, solving the “$10 trillion USD problem” that have to be used to pre-finance accounts in global payments. Thanks to ODL, RippleNet customers with XRP can receive immediate liquidity without having to maintain a pre-funded account for every currency worldwide:
An estimated $10 trillion is trapped around the world now, but this need for pre-funding in destination currencies is eliminated by using XRP, which dramatically lowers costs while enabling faster, real-time payments.
Lee also noted that Azimo has been able to reduce transaction costs by 30 to 50 percent for Filipinos living abroad who send money home to their families. Despite exchange rate fluctuations, this allows Filipinos to send money to their families and loved ones at lower costs:
Using ODL, our partner Azimo was able to reduce costs by 30 percent to 50 percent and hopes to pass along those cost-savings to their customers who are sending remittances to their families
Every cent counts especially now and it’s crucial that they enjoy faster and lower cost remittances 24/7, without having to pay high transactions fees or experience unfavorable exchange rates through traditional payment platforms.
Lee also pointed out the importance of the Asia Pacific region as a target group for Ripple. More than half of Ripple’s customers are from the Asia Pacific region. The Philippines, in particular, is emerging as an important market as one of the most important remittance destinations in the world, as evidenced by the USD 34 billion that flowed to the Philippines in 2018. Lee also expressed his optimism about the growth of Ripple in the Philippines.
We are optimistic about the future of digital payments in the Philippines. Since 2018, there has been increasing demand for e-payments in the Philippines, and this number is expected to increase globally by 15 percent in 2020 due to the global pandemic. More recently, we’ve seen a significant uptick in e-payments and online transactions, with InstaPay and PESONet transactions hitting P310 billion from March to May—up 54.4 percent from the previous quarter.
The Philippines has also introduced a variety of digital wallets to facilitate access to financial services for people without bank accounts and to open new remittance corridors to other countries in the region. According to Lee, this momentum will continue as Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, the central bank of the Philippines, continues to push for an increase in electronic payments in the country through the national retail payment system:
With BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno predicting digital or e-payments will increase to 50 percent of all payment transactions and the government playing a significant role in promoting the adoption of digital payments, we believe BSP is on the right track in furthering industry growth while protecting the interest of consumers.