On 15 November 2018, the Malyasia-headquartered CIMB Group, the fifth-largest banking group in ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), with roughly $122 billion in total assets, announced that it had formed a strategic partnership with Ripple to "enable instant cross border payments across its various markets." As a result of this partnership, CIMB has joined RippleNet, which will allow CIMB to "grow its cross border payments business."
Ripple's technology will be used to improve SpeedSend, CIMB's money transfer service (kind of similar to Western Union) that was launched as a pilot in September 2011. CIMB says that this will expand the SpeedSend network, and "open new payment corridors to improve consumer access to cross-border remittances, both inbound into ASEAN and outbound to other countries," thereby "enabling remittances via corridors such as Australia (in partnership with Instarem, also a member of RippleNet), USA, UK and Hong Kong." CIMB's press release also notes that "CIMB intends to extend the solution to other use cases across the Group."
CIMB's customers can "send money from Malaysia at any SpeedSend location by completing a simple form and showing a photo identification," with the funds "ready for beneficiaries to collect almost instantly, during agents’ operational hours." It is possible for the payout to be in the form of cash or via "account crediting at selected countries."
"The World Bank projects that this year alone remittances to Southeast Asia will grow to $120 billion. Additional data from The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) suggests that the size of global market for cross-border payments volume is $27 trillion, and another $20 trillion could be up for grabs between 2018-2026. Approximately 39% of this remittance market is centered in the ASEAN region."
Tengku Dato’ Sri Zafrul Aziz, the CEO of CIMB Group, said:
“We are delighted to be part of RippleNet and look forward to a fruitful partnership with Ripple by leveraging each other’s strengths and capabilities. This innovative blockchain solution will revolutionize international cross-border remittances, and is a testament to CIMB’s ongoing efforts to enhance its digital banking proposition by providing speedy and cost-efficient solutions to our customers across ASEAN."
And Ripple's CEO, Brad Garlinghouse, who met the CIMB CEO recently at the 2018 Singapore FinTech Festival, stated:
“We’re seeing banks and financial institutions from across the world lean into blockchain solutions because it enables a more transparent, quicker and lower cost payments experience. CIMB’s network already spans 15 countries, nearly 800 branches and offers Speedsend — one of the best solutions in the ASEAN region. Now, by integrating Ripple’s blockchain technology, they will enable their customers to send vital funds to family, friends and loved ones more efficiently. With its focus on innovation, CIMB will continue to be a dominant force in the region for years to come.”
Images Courtesy of the CIMB Group