This article was first published on Insights – Ripple
Last year, more than $45 billion was spent in fees on remittance services by migrants all over the world who send money home to family and friends. In today’s digital age, remitters send money across the globe and expect services that are accessible, reliable, affordable and fast. SendFriend is on a mission to deliver this by using the digital asset XRP and building on top of the Interledger Protocol (ILP) to move funds internationally, on-demand.
In a fireside chat at Ripple’s University Blockchain Research Initiative (UBRI) Connect Conference, Ripple’s Sr. Director of Product, Ginger Baker, talked with SendFriend CEO, David Lighton, about how their international money transfer app leverages blockchain technology and digital assets to create faster, less expensive and more inclusive international money transfers for immigrants in the U.S.
The idea for SendFriend came out of Lighton’s 3 years in and out of Haiti as a World Bank Analyst, following the earthquake of 2010. He saw first-hand the complex, unreliable and expensive process transferring much needed money into the region.
While government officials in Haiti of course paid no tax on collecting aid monies from State Department or the International Monetary Fund (IMF), personal remittances to Haitian locals from friends and family could cost up to 10% in fees, an effective tax sapping the local economy of much needed financial resources.
“This is such a serious problem that number ten of the Sustainable Development Goals has a target of bringing the cost of remittance payments down to three percent by 2030,” explained Lighton.
One factor of this expensive fee is that international payments require businesses to pre-fund
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Insights – Ripple