By Staff Writer
India received the most remittance volume in the world in 2018 at $79bn, making it a critical and highly desirable corridor for many financial service providers in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
Global blockchain-based payments firm, Ripple, is helping power a remittance corridor between Saudi Arabia British Bank (SABB) and Indian bank IndusInd, according to Ripple’s Navin Gupta.
Soon to be the second-largest bank in Saudi Arabia after its merger with Saudi Holland Bank, SABB’s Head of Global Liquidity and Cash Management Ghada Al Jarbou said that despite its size, the bank has a relatively low penetration into the regional remittance market, with most customers using third-party independent providers.
This lack of remittance traction was one of the driving factors behind their decision to pursue the launch of a digital remittance product.
The decision to leverage Ripple was validated when the Saudi Arabia Central Bank chose SABB as one of three banks to take part in its own Ripple sandbox pilot.
IndusInd is a midsize bank in India with a robust remittance volume. The bank’s Head of Transaction Banking Sales Amit Talwar said that the sheer size of the Indian remittance market means that many banks outside of the region are looking for local partners.
SABB and IndusInd were a good fit. For one, the Indian Rupee (INR) was already one of the top remittance currencies for the Saudi bank.
Talwar said it was roughly one and a half months from the partnership agreement to the first transaction on December 23, 2018. It took seven minutes to complete from end-to-end. The current transaction times have already been trimmed to three minutes and should lessen even further over time.