Currencies Direct, a London-based foreign exchange (FX) brokerage, has confirmed a successful international money transfer pilot using Ripple’s xRapid platform, powered by native token XRP.
In an announcement [PDF] on Tuesday, the UK brokerage revealed it conducted a number of international money transfers between organizations based in the US, Mexico and Europe in seconds, compared to traditional money wires that typically take 3 to 5 days to complete.
Laying claim to the pilot as one of the first successful trials of a ‘digital asset by a mainstream financial services organization’, Currencies Direct said the testing has ‘served as a technological proof of concept for XRP as a means of value transfer, achieving superior speed of payment and end-to-end transparency’ in comparison to traditional transfer methods.
Currencies Direct product chief Brian Harris called the pilot a ‘game changer’ for the remittance industry, stating:
“Our trial with XRP was a resounding success. We’re currently assessing our next steps, but the evidence we’ve gathered indicates that the use of XRP is a game changer, making payments near-immediate and significantly improving service to our customers.”
The trial sees the use of xRapid, a Ripple product that uses its digital token XRP to minimize liquidity costs in near-instant transfers around the world, particularly in emerging markets that require pre-funded local currency accounts.
In this particular scenario, the sender’s fiat currency was exchanged into XRP at a local exchange. Seconds later, the same XRP is ‘exchanged into the destination currency at the second digital asset exchange,” the brokerage explained. The funds are then delivered to the recipient’s domestic account in their native currency, all in a matter of seconds.
Tracked in its entirety he XRP-fueled trial of transactions was conducted between Ripple’s existing banking partners in North America and Europe.
The results represent a “revolutionary step for the industry” according to Harris who opined cryptocurrencies would be better suited as a transfer of value.
“We believe that utilising cryptocurrencies in this way – as a transfer of value, rather than as a store of value – is the next logical step for our industry. It is, after all, the intended purpose of cryptocurrencies and we’re proud to be leveraging new technology to deliver the most convenient and seamless experience for our customers.”
Ripple’s xRapid has been gaining interest among payment providers, none bigger than remittance giant Western Union. In February, Ripple said it had been ‘testing different products with Western Union for a while’ before confirming a pilot implementation of xRapid powered by XRP.