Ripple-Partner SendFriend Opens Cross-Border Payment Platform, Taking Aim at an $11 Billion Market
As cryptocurrency adoption increases, there will be a lot more institutional Investment in the sector. The attention expected to come from it will give rise to a gazillion and one developer and engineers who already constantly looking for simpler ways to use cryptocurrency and push adoption a little farther. Recently, Lightning Labs announced a mobile Lightning App which will be easily supported by iOS and Android. Now, another app, SendFriend, is said to join the league.
The SendFriend Platform
The SendFriend app being launched in New Jersey was created for the Filipino community in diaspora to easily and very affordably send money to family and friends in their home country. The app is touted as a very secure way to send money converting dollars to the Philippine peso with very cheap charges.
Recently it was revealed that in 2018, about $650 billion was transferred from the US by members of the immigrant workforce to their various home countries. Most of these remittances were carried out using quite a few of the traditional methods used to make cross-border payments. However, it is noted that these transactions cost more than $45 billion in fees and also required a period of up to 5 days for completion. It has also been noted that $11 billion of the total $650 billion went straight to the Philippines.
SendFriend and Ripple
SendFriend has now announced that it will be using Ripple’s technology to complete these cross-border transactions. Through Ripple’s xRapid which is based on the XRP asset, the process completely ignores the traditional banking systems that would normally be involved in such transactions. Also, instead of 5 days, transactions will be completed in a matter of seconds. The process will be converting the USD through XRP to PHP.
This solution makes cross-border payments more than 65% cheaper than the traditional systems because all bank charges and other fees that are required for money to move from one country to another are completely eliminated. This is a big plus for SendFriend and also for Ripple as the latter seeks to expand its network of user partners.
The app seeks to make life a lot easier for the thousands of Filipinos overseas who spend a little too much in providing for their families back home. The SendFriend team comprises a very talented team of engineers who are, in some way or the other, connected to heavy hitters like the World Bank, MoneyGram, MIT and the Harvard Business School. Investors for SendFriend include Techstars, the MIT Media Lab, the MasterCard Foundation, Barclays and also Mahindra Finance.
David Lighton is the CEO of SendFriend and a Yale Global Justice Fellow. Lighton is an alumnus of MIT where he started the company and also received the MIT Legatum Fellowship and also the MIT Translational Innovation Award. Lighton has said that one of his motivations was that as a World Bank analyst, he was unhappy about the fact that financial aid being sent to Haiti after the deadly earthquake it experienced in 2010, lost up to 7% to fees.