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Finablr's UAE Exchange, Ripple Join To Offer Blockchain Payments Service

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UAE-based payments and foreign exchange company Finablr said its brands UAE Exchange and Unimoni has teamed up with Ripple to offer cross-border payment services to Thailand through blockchain. The blockchain-based service would significantly boost the speed and efficiency of remittances.

Finablr partnered with Thailand-based Siam Commercial Bank to provide the service on RippleNet. The company said it plans to expand the blockchain-based service to other countries.

Promoth Manghat, executive director and chief executive of Finablr said, "The adoption of blockchain opens up considerable potential to streamline remittances and provide a frictionless, fast and secure payments experience."

The majority of expat workers in the Middle East are from Asia. The National reported, citing the World Bank, that remittance flows to South Asia grew 13.5 percent last year.

Finablr, owned by Indian-born businessman B.R. Shetty, on its website said it processed nearly 150 million transactions in 2017, and the Finablr network of brands managed close to $100 billion in volumes for its customers. It is licensed to operate in 44 countries and regulated by 95 regulators.

In recent times, major financial companies have adopted blockchain for cross-border money transfers.

Ripple's enterprise blockchain payments network RippleNet, which allows cross border payments around the world, recently surpassed the 200 customers mark globally. Its customers include MUFG Bank, Standard Chartered and RAKBank.

The network helps financial institutions avoid the hassle of pre-funding accounts in destination currencies, and allows them to make faster, lower cost payments than traditional banking system.

In early January, Norwegian telecom giant Telenor's Pakistan unit launched a blockchain-based cross-border remittance service for money transfer from Malaysia to Pakistan. The blockchain technology used in the service is developed by Alipay, the online payment platform operated by Ant Financial Services Group.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates joined together recently to launch a new cross-border cryptocurrency that will be targeted for banks at an experimental phase. The countries aim to better understand the implications of Blockchain technology and facilitate cross-border payments.

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