Ripple claims to have many partners around the globe, and some of them are still developing their products. One blogger exposed this huge list of 200 partners, most of whom didn’t even have a product at the time – with one of those being the cross-border payment startup SendFriend. Just over 4 months later, SendFriend has completed its product and has finally launched, giving Filipino workers in the US a quick and easy way to send money to family in the Philippines.
Visually, Not Much Change
In the 4 months that passed, SendFriend has been hard at work behind the scenes developing its payment platform. On the surface, it still looks and feels like a project that was bungled together by a 10-year old in his bedroom. That being said, SendFriend caters to a huge market and is actually a rather solid product.
Currently, Filipinos sending money back home from the US spend around $45 billion every year in a process that takes around 3 working days. Using SendFriend, Filipinos can convert USD into Philippine Pesos and send it in a matter of minutes for a fraction of the cost. In fact, fees are a whopping 65% less using SendFriend than the average high-street bank. With savings like that, who cares what it looks like – as long as it works!
Banks Just Too Expensive
Let’s be honest, the banking system appears to be a little broken in terms of costs passed on to users. Bitcoin transactions might not be cheap, but in comparison to Bank of America transactions, Bitcoin is 6,000x cheaper. This is why Ripple is trying to roll out its xRapid and xCurrent technology to as many banks as possible, meaning banks can pass on the savings to their customers.
Euro Exim Bank is the first bank to join the xRapid ecosystem, but more banks are quickly looking to follow in its footsteps. As well as using the system for cross-border payments, Euro Exim Bank is also looking to use the technology to create xRapid powered bonds and financial derivatives.
SendFriend is helping empower Filipinos to send their hard-earned money back to their families in a quick, easy, and cost-effective manner. Existing systems are failing the people and SendFriend is helping to right that. As word spreads about SendFriend, we will likely see it take over the cross-border payment sector between the US and the Philippines. Big banks better watch their backs.