The Filipino diaspora is one of the ten largest in the world, with more than five million of its citizens living abroad.
Many of them, like Joyce de Guzman, live and work in a foreign country so they can send money home to family members. But the traditional system of international payments for these migrants is often slow and expensive, siphoning off valuable funds from every transaction that could be better used for food, rent or medical bills.
For those Filipinos fueling the $1.8 billion USD in remittances that flow every year from Japan to the Philippines, this can be an especially painful transaction. The Philippines is the third largest destination for remittances from Japan, with Japan (10.50 percent) having one of the highest remittance costs in the world—almost twice as much as the average of all the G8 countries (5.92 percent).
Now, SBI Remit Co., Ltd, the largest money transfer provider in Japan, is teaming up with mobile payments service Coins.ph and digital asset exchange platform SBI VC Trade to transform remittance payments from Japan to the Philippines. Using On-Demand Liquidity, the three will provide faster, more affordable remittance options for customers.
This is Ripple’s first On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) service implementation in Japan, setting the stage to drive more adoption of crypto-enabled services in the region. By leveraging the digital asset XRP to eliminate pre-funding, the two companies can also free up capital and accelerate the expansion of their own payments businesses.
“We see tremendous potential in leveraging blockchain technology to transform not only the way payment transactions are made but in how we manage our business by unlocking trapped capital,” said Nobuo Ando, Representative Director of SBI Remit. “The launch of ODL in Japan is just the start, and we look forward to continuing to push into the next frontier of financial innovation, beyond real-time payments in just the Philippines, but to other parts of the region as well.”
Zooming out, this deal is part of Ripple’s explosive growth in the larger Asia-Pacific (APAC) region. With growing ecommerce clout, increasingly mobile populations and rising clarity around cryptocurrency regulations, Asia Pacific is one of the fastest growing regions for Ripple with transactions growing 130% year-over-year.
The news also comes on the heels of similar partnerships with companies like Novatti and Tranglo, as well as Ripple’s recent hiring of finance and technology veteran Brooks Entwistle as Managing Director of Southeast Asia. Looking ahead, Ripple is perfectly positioned to deliver on APAC’s growing need for faster and more affordable approaches to cross-border payments today while also helping prepare regional players for the broader enterprise shift to a tokenized future that is already well underway.