Ripple Helping UAE Exchange and Unimoni to Launch Cross-Border Payments to Thailand

On Sunday (February 10th), Finablr, the UAE-based parent company of two international remittance firms, UAE Exchange and Unimoni, announced that these two companies have joined Ripple's global payment network, RippleNet, and will be using Ripple's technology for cross-border payments (starting with Thailand).

The payments and foreign exchange company's network of brands, such as the two mentioned above, processed "150 million transactions" in 2017, and "managed close to $100 billion in volumes for its customers." Finablr is "licensed to operate in 44 countries and regulated by 95 regulators." 

According to an article in the UAE-based news outlet The National:

"Asia is one of the major recipients of remittances from expat workers in the Middle East, where Finablr is based. Remittance flows to South Asia grew 13.5 per cent last year, according to the World Bank. It estimates that officially recorded remittances to developing countries have increased by 10.8 per cent to reach $528 billion (Dh1.939 trillion) in 2018. Global remittances, which include flows to high-income countries, are projected to have grown by 10.3 per cent to $689bn."

Finablr says that UAE Exchange and Unimoni are already on RippleNet, and that they will "use the blockchain-based platform provided by Ripple for real-time, seamless cross-border transactions to Thailand, with plans in place to extend it to other countries." Furthermore, it believes that this means that "UAE Exchange and Unimoni become the first in their category in the Middle East to have adopted blockchain technology to process transactions."

The first country to benefit from this partnership with Ripple is Thailand, "with Siam Commercial Bank, one of the largest banks in Thailand, enabling UAE Exchange and Unimoni customers around the world to transfer money instantly to their beneficiaries in Thailand."

Promoth Manghat, Executive Director and CEO at Finablr and Group CEO at UAE Exchange and Unimoni, said: 

“The adoption of blockchain opens up considerable potential to streamline remittances and provide a frictionless, fast and secure payments experience. The launch of this service is a significant milestone for us in our commitment to enable seamless services for our customers, and we thank our partners Ripple and Siam Commercial Bank for their collaborative support in this journey.”

Meanwhile, Navin Gupta, Managing Director, South Asia and MENA at Ripple, had this to stay:

“We are excited to see this collaboration go live, allowing customers in any part of the world to send live payments to Thailand instantly and efficiently. In pursuit of our shared goal to provide a frictionless experience when moving money globally, we will continue to support our partners – UAE Exchange and Unimoni – in their efforts to deliver innovative technology-led financial solutions.”

Finally, Dechapol Lamwilai, FSVP, Head of Disruptive Technology Office, Siam Commercial Bank, stated: 

“We are delighted to be a part of the UAE Exchange and Unimoni journey in leading frictionless cross-border transfer experiences in the new digital era. As strategic partners, we look forward to working closely together to provide best-in-class payments solutions that bring added value and convenience to customers sending money into Southeast Asia.”

 

Featured Image Courtesy of Finablr

Facebook and Amazon Stock Hit New Highs as Stock Market Outperforms Economy

The price of Facebook (NASDAQ: FB) and Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) stock hit a new all-time high amid the coronavirus pandemic, as the stock market has been outperforming the economy.

According to available data, Facebook stock is now trading above $230 marking a new all-time high for the social media giant. Its positive performance comes shortly after it launched Facebook Shops, a platform that makes it easier for small businesses to sell to its billions of users amid the coronavirus crisis.

Speaking to CNBC Todd Gordon, managing director at Ascent Wealth Partners, said FB stock has been having a “very impressive” performance, noting that Facebook’s move up is “pretty spectacular.”

FB stock chartSource: Google

Facebook Shops gives the social media giant a new source of revenue, at a time in which advertisers are spending less because of the crisis. It comes as the deadline to launch the Libra cryptocurrency project approaches.

Amazon has been managing to outperform Facebook, however, as the e-commerce giant recently hit a new all-time high close to the $2,500 mark. AMZN stock dipped shortly after hitting it but has since recovered, and ahead of the opening bell is at $2,451.

The e-commerce giant’s performance comes after it reported gains in the first quarter of the year amid the coronavirus outbreak, as demand went up. It further announced it will be using all of its second-quarter earnings, of around $4 billion, in response to the crisis.

Amazon Stock price chartSource: Google

Stock Market Outperforms Economy

Other blue-chip stocks have been performing rather well, despite the toll the pandemic has taken on the global economy. According to Yahoo Finance, data from April included dismal jobs numbers and poor retail numbers, which led economists to lower their economic growth forecasts.

This month Goldman Sachs cut its GDP forecasts and warned the unemployment rate in the United States will reach 25%, while Credit Suisse economists warned a “longer growth slump will outlast fiscal relief.”

Economists from Bank of America said that the recession will be “unlike anything we have seen in modern history,” after claiming GDP in the second quarter of the year would fall at a 40% rate. Large firms in the S&P 500 index have, however, posted better results than expected.

Credit Suisse’s Jonathan Golub was quoted as saying:

  • Although aggregate earnings are beating estimates by +2.6%, ex-Financials, earnings are surpassing expectations by +7.1%, with 65% of companies exceeding their lowered projections.

These better than-expected-results help, according to some analysts, explain the rise in the stock markets.

Featured image by Markus Spiske on Unsplash