The shortest air mile distance between Johannesburg and London is 5,635 miles.
Historically, moving money between banks or money service providers in those two cities takes days to cover that distance. That literally means it would still be faster to put money on an airplane and physically fly it between the two cities.
International payments specialist Mercury aims to shorten that money transfer window to only minutes using RippleNet’s On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) service and the digital asset XRP.
The recent news that Mercury has been accepted into the first cohort of South Africa’s Intergovernmental Fintech Working Group (IFWG) Regulatory Sandbox for its work in partnership with Ripple and cryptocurrency exchange VALR, is a big step toward bringing fintech innovation to the region.
The IFWG exists to facilitate the role of fintechs and innovation in the South African financial market. More than 50 companies applied to be part of this inaugural Regulatory Sandbox, with Mercury being one of the final six chosen. Mercury is one of two companies within the final six that are leveraging XRP for more efficient cross-border payments into the region.
The company’s IFWG announcement today made clear its belief in the future of blockchain-based money transfer, and its goals for dramatically cutting the time and cost of sending money into and out of South Africa using RippleNet and ODL.
That aim to shave time and money off international payments is especially critical for the larger African continent. Remittances in particular are a vital source of income for families — often meaning the difference between buying groceries and going hungry, or making rent payments on time. Every minute gained and dollar saved carries with it very real human benefits.
Ripple is honored to be part of this transformation of remittances and international payments within Africa in partnership with innovative partners like Mercury. We are committed to supporting similarly important efforts around the world and working closely with regulators to ensure their success.