How Blockchain and Crypto Meet Growing SME Demand

This article was first published on Insights – Ripple
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Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are a dynamic force in the global economy today—especially in developing countries where SMEs contribute up to 40% of national GDPs, according to The World Bank. 

The emergence of eCommerce has helped fuel this growth over the past two decades, and with it, introduced a specific set of needs among this new class of merchants that traditional financial institutions cannot meet. This includes securing financing for business growth; paying global suppliers and employees; and attracting new buyers with differentiated, modern payment options. 

Blockchain and digital asset technology offer a solution. 

Faster Cross-Border Payments
The majority of today’s global payment services are based on a fragmented infrastructure designed to serve larger corporations with significant payment volumes—not today’s digitally minded, fast-moving merchants. This results in costly delays and high foreign transfer fees, which negatively impact cash flow for merchants, and make it very hard to differentiate in a competitive marketplace and provide, at the same time, a standout customer experience. 

For example, merchants using traditional global payment services providers can wait up to 2-3 days after they’ve sold product before they receive a payment from an overseas buyer. With limited working capital, this prevents merchants from investing in new products, stunting business potential.

Enter blockchain and digital asset technology. Those who use global payment services that run on Ripple can tap the world’s most advanced blockchain technology for faster, low-cost payments. This includes more than 300 financial institutions worldwide and spans 70 countries. Some of these institutions are taking it one step further. They provide added cost-saving to merchants by using On-Demand Liquidity services to avoid pre-funding, which rely on the digital asset XRP as a real-time bridge between the sending and receiving currencies. 

Bringing Digital Assets Mainstream in Partnership with ...

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