Tokyo-based remittance company SBI Remit has announced the launch of the first-ever blockchain-based money transfer service between Japan and Vietnam.
According to a press release published earlier today, the group will be using RippleNet blockchain technology to facilitate the transfers.
The new service is part of SBI Ripple Asia, a collaborative project established between Ripple Labs and SBI Holdings in May 2016. SBI Holdings is one of the largest money transfer services in Japan, providing remittance solutions to over 200 jurisdictions.
The group has a preexisting partnership with international remittance company MoneyGram, which facilitates international money transfers in around 10 minutes. However, through RippleNet technology, the group hopes its service will become even faster and cheaper.
Commenting on the launch, SBI representative Yoshitaka Kitao said:
“The adoption of RippleNet will further differentiate the company from its competitors. We will also develop remittance services that incorporates crypto-assets in the future.”
Kitao didn’t elaborate on what other crypto-assets may be available for transfer on the network in the future, but Ripple’s own XRP currency seems a likely candidate.
Tien Phong Bank
Joining the service as its banking partner is Vietnamese commercial bank Tien Phong Bank (TPBank), of which SBI Holdings owns a 19.9% share.
TPBank’s CEO, Nguyen Hung, remarked:
“Our cooperation with SBI Ripple Asia on the application of blockchain technology in cross-border money transfers marks an important turning point in enhancing our customer experience and makes international money transfers via TPBank faster, more convenient, and safer than ever before.”
Hung hopes that Ripple’s technology will add a new layer of transparency to the bank’s cross-border payments.
Likewise, Hung was careful to point out that cash flows between Japan and Vietnam would still follow normal legal procedures and will go through foreign banks in an effort to comply with AML regulations.
SBI Holdings also announced in June that it would be trialing in-store payments through its ‘MoneyTap’ app, which was rolled out in Tokyo last month. The service, also based on Ripple, is expected to launch globally within the year.