Ripple’s Managing Director for South Asia and MENA [the Middle East and North Africa region], Navin Gupta spoke with The Asian Banker on February 6, 2019, regarding the progress of Ripple and how it is changing the financial industry.
The recent announcement by Ripple noted that they had partnered with over 200 banks and Financial Institutions [FIs] around the world and that 100 of these customers were signed within 2018. Navin Gupta mentioned how signing the first 100 partners took over two years as banks and FIs were hesitant about DLT and cryptocurrencies.
Mr. Gupta continued that Ripple was aggressively closing the gap between itself and SWIFT with these new partners. He stated:
“Every one of those 200 financial institutions, of which 50% are from Asia and the Middle East, are production ready and are in the process of going live… What we are seeing across governments and central banks that we are engaged with is the effort to streamline digital assets and to bring it either into an existing framework or build new policies through which cryptocurrency and digital assets itself can be managed.”
In addition, Gupta mentioned how 2019 would be a much favorable year as compared to the previous years and also said that there were clear “regulatory signals” in ASEAN such as Thailand, Philippines and Singapore moving ahead on digital assets.
Navin Gupta added there they had also signed major commercial banks from Korea, Japan, India, and even ASEAN. He also said that there were rapid improvements in the Middle East.
The National Bank of Abu Dhabi [NBAD] was the first bank in the Middle East to sign on to RippleNet in February 2018 and FIs like Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait and BFC Bahrain are also part of RippleNet.
Gupta continued that these banks and FIs were “progressive” institutions and that they were production ready. He stated:
“There is a very significant amount of movement from high street banks to join the network and we believe at different points in their lifecycle they will make this decision.”
@regretandreward tweeted in a reply to the interview:
“Smaller banks are the ones that benefit the most from XRPAID as they are the ones paying the high fees to the big banks in order to use their nostro accounts. Small banks 1st then larger banks will follow”