Thai ‘big four’ banking institution Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) is adding euros and sterling to its Ripple-powered blockchain remittance platform.
The SCB, one of Thailand’s biggest banks, is adding the euro and the sterling pound to its retail remittance offering powered by San Francisco-based blockchain giant Ripple, the Bangkok Post reports. SCB strategy chief Arak Sutivong pointed to strong payment inflows of euros and pounds to Thailand as inward remittance as reasons for the blockchain-powered retail offering.
Refreshingly, the bank executive reveals the blockchain remittance will be initially available for retail customers who see inbound remittances from Europe as the SCB searches for partner Ripple banks in the continent to support the service.
As reported previously, the SCB began inbound remittance trials over Ripple’s blockchain with Japan’s SBI Remit in June 2017. The commercial blockchain application, currently being tested in a regulatory sandbox under the eye of the Bank of Thailand, has already proved successful according to the SCB executive. When launched commercially, the services will look to disrupt a payments corridor that sees some $250 million transferred annually from Japan to Thailand.
“The service system has stabilized, while the Bank of Thailand wants to monitor it comprehensively,” Arak told the Post, adding that the bank is only waiting for the central bank’s go-ahead for the commercial launch of Japan-Thailand baht remittance transfers for individuals. Once the transaction is triggered by an origin SBI Remit account in Japan, the funds will be deposited into the recipient’s SCB savings account within “two to five seconds”, Ripple says.
With the SCB looking to add support for the euro and the pound using the same Ripple tech, Arak contends that the bank could avoid going through the regulatory sandbox for testing.
The bank expects to add support for euros and sterling over its Ripple blockchain remittance offering sometime before the end of Q3 2018.
Meanwhile in Japan, home to a significant chunk of Ripple experiments and prototypes in Asia, a consortium led by SBI Ripple Asia comprising of 61 Japanese banks is set to launch a retail consumer payments mobile app that would enable instant round-the-clock transactions between domestic bank accounts later this year.