International FX Exchange & Ripple Partner, Mercury to Boost Remittances in South Africa Using ODL
Mercury's international payments firm to utilize RippleNet On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) platform to ease remittance payments between the United Kingdom and South Africa.
On Tuesday, Ripple confirmed Mercury, which has been using the RippleNet ODL platform and its associated XRP digital asset since 2019, to reduce transaction times and fees to a minimum in South Africa. Mercury was added to the first cohort of South Africa’s Intergovernmental Fintech Working Group (IGFW), the inaugural fintech regulatory sandbox in the African state.
Mercury-RippleNet ODL was one of the six chosen projects for an inaugural 50 companies that applied to enter the sandbox. Of the six, Mercury is only one of two companies leveraging blockchain to enhance global remittances and payments in South Africa.
Consisting of top financial regulators such as South Africa’s National Treasury, the South African Reserve Bank, and Financial Sector Conduct Authority, IGFW has previously called for strict regulations to be put in place to curb unregulated crypto transactions.
In April 2020, IGFW stated domestic crypto transactions are accepted in the country but under strict adherence to the FATF “Travel Rule” recommendations. This gave rise to the regulatory sandbox –later in the year – the IGFW stating at the time,
“Payments using crypto assets will, in the interim period, be subjected to a regulatory sandbox approach.”
As a member of the sandbox, Mercury aims at enhancing the future of blockchain-based payments/ transfers to “cut the time and cost of sending money into and out of South Africa using RippleNet-ODL service.”
South African tax regulator, South Africa Revenue Authority (SARS), recently announced plans to audit crypto investors amidst the country's rising demand for crypto.