“WU.com will be hitting a new customer base; customers who are account-based. We don’t expect to cannibalize our existing customers but will reach out to new customers that use the banks.”
CEO of GKMS, Michelle Allen confirmed WU’s plans to launch an online portal to Loop News
Financial giants Western Union and GKMS (GraceKennedy Money Services) are partnering to launch an innovative online remittance platform WU.com. Scheduled to launch in April of 2018, the platform will allows Jamaicans to not only receive but send remittances directly from their bank accounts.
But what most Jamaicans may not know is that Western Union is planning to use Ripple’s Blockchain-based settlement system, Xrapid and XRP.
Folks, remember I had predicted this in my article GraceKennedy’s Innovation Lab planning to launch a GK MPay cryptocurrency, even going as far as to suggest that it would be baked into GraceKennedy’s GK MPay app with a dash of cryptomining thrown in?
But what exactly is Ripple?
Ripple cryptocurrency – Xrapid and XRP makes blockchain a problem solver
Ripple is yet another of the 15,000 or so cryptocurrencies in use online.
Same cryptocurrency and blockchain tech, but its tools Xrapid and XRP have unmatched value in the financial sector. Ripple is already set to save to Saudi Arabia close to US$200 to US$400 million in to cross-border transaction losses yearly.
Ripple team is aiming to collaborate with over half of world’s bank in the next 5 years, with partnerships already established with the following financial institutions:
- IDT Corporation
- Mercury FX
- Western Union
So Ripple, or at the very least their tools, may be coming to GraceKennedy’s other products, possibly helping to solve a few logistical problems for the company even as it boosts the usage of their GK MPay app!
GraceKennedy and Ripple – GK MPay may have Western Union’s Ripple baked in
This was, after all, the reason why they launched their Innovation Lab; to test out such new ideas.
At a press conference at the GraceKennedy’s headquarter in Jamaica on Tuesday March 20th 2018 at a Western Union’s President and CEO Hikmet Ersek made known that the idea is the first of its kind in the Caribbean and Latin America.
GraceKennedy’s Group CEO, Don Wehby was equally upbeat, citing that they could potentially achieved a 15% increase in revenue by pursuing this “digital idea”. Mobile Money and cryptocurrency are indistinguishable to the customer.
Their underlying technology is very different; integrating will make GK MPay dream of sending and receiving remittances via smartphone possible to quote CEO of GKMS, Michelle Allen: “You can now send money from anywhere in Jamaica. It has been in development for over two years and heralds our move to digital money”.
GraceKennedy want you to ditch cash and Cards and use GK MPay instead, doing all their remittance transactions right in the palm of their hands or on the WU.com website, quote: “We want people to understand that gone are the days of walking around with cash. We want people to use their phone and GK M Pay products. You can send remittances on your phone and we want you to use your debit and credit cards online to send money. You can now send money into someone’s bank account using Wu.com.”
Albeit the CEO’s were pretty vague on the actual usage of Ripple, we do know that Western Union has acquired 25% Stake in GraceKennedy’s Remittance, Cambio and Bill Payments Businesses in the Caribbean.
Since they’re been experimenting with Ripple’s Blockchain tools xRapid and xCurrent since February 2018, the potential that xRapid is going to be used on WU.com and possibly GK MPay is very likely.
Ripple will a convenient 24/7 online service possible for GKMS customer who use their 140 locations Island-wide. With connections in 200 countries across the globe, this makes customer using the GK MPay app the perfect guinea pigs to test out a cryptocurrency as the underlying platform to finalize transactions.
Ripple in China’s Remittance and Banking – GK MPay expansion into China
Ripple over the years has been doing fantastic in different parts of the world, especially in China.
InstaRem, a leading digital remittance platform in Southeast Asia, using one of Ripple tools for the cross-border transaction. They processes more than 500,000 transactions yearly, and are making slow inroads into china, despite the Communist country’s stiff regulations on cryptocurrency-related matter.
Via InstaRem, the underlying tech and tools used in the Ripple cryptocurrency has just started infiltrating China. Ripple has since said there is no going back on coasting the whole of China, according to head of government and regulatory relations for Asia Pacific, Sagar Sarbh, quote: “This year you will see more announcements coming in on China, in terms of educating and differentiating us from some of the other cryptocurrencies that are out there. As we speak, our team is strategizing about entering the market, but it’s still very early days.”
Ripple’s company is in a serious discussion with financial service providers, regulators, banks. They are also scoping out Chinese financial regulations on cryptocurrency, especially if it’s being used as the underlying technology behind a remittance service as Sagar Sarbh points out, quote: “In our discussions with China’s regulatory bodies so far, this is something that hasn’t come up. We’re essentially a software company, licensing software to banks and enterprises who want to move money cross-border”.
They are hopeful that their status as a software company selling a tool to banks will win them trust in China, to quote Sagar Sarbh: “If a Chinese bank wants to use our solution and the regulator sees no risk with the solution, I don’t see why the government, even in a so-called hostile environment, would have any issue with that. But this is early days in what you call the trade war and hostile environment”.
So could this mean that Western Union and GraceKennedy may soon be doing real-time remittances via smartphones to China?
Ripple has fast and reliable tools that no country would resist; GraceKennedy’s GK MPay and Western Union are riding the Ripple felt across the world!!!
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