This article was first published on Insights – Ripple
Questioning traditions in finance is a daily mission for Korean firm Sentbe. It applied its innovative mindset to the international money transfers regularly sent across Southeast Asia by Korea’s large population of migrant workers and partnered with SBI Ripple Asia, a joint venture between Ripple and SBI Holdings, to improve the ineffective process offered by traditional bank and payments services.
“Cross-border payments are typically expensive and time-consuming,” explained Sentbe Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, J Young Lee, “but with RippleNet’s help we’ve made them faster, cheaper, more convenient. Now we want every hard-working migrant in Korea to know about and have the ability to access this better way of sending money home to their families.”
Improving remittances meant overcoming four major challenges faced by migrant workers when making payments including transparency, speed, convenience and cost. Senders often don’t know about hidden costs, like FX conversion rates or transaction fees on the recipient’s side. Remittances are also slow, usually taking 2-3 days, though occasionally as long as a week depending on where the money is going. They are also uniquely inconvenient for migrants and their families back home.
“Migrant workers often only get Sundays off work but have to spend it waiting in line for as many as four hours at their nearest money transfer service branch,” said Lee. “The process is just as inconvenient for their families, who may have to travel from their homes on remote islands or in mountain regions to access the money they need to buy food and pay bills. We wanted to make payments 90% cheaper, take just five minutes to send from your mobile device and create diverse recipient channels to make it more convenient for everyone.”
Finding the Right Partners for Faster Connections
Sentbe initially explored XRP but the terms of ...
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