Ripple and the international payment network Swift are going head-to-head at the 1TC conference in Rust, Germany.
Ripple’s global head of banking Marjan Delatinne and Swift’s global head of banking market Wim Raymaekers will offer their perspectives on the future of cross-border payments.
According to event organizers, the two global heads will debate and discuss the following.
“How will technology affect our daily lives as treasurers, with the banking sector challenged by new concepts and ideas? Are established banking structures going to be turned on their head? SWIFT and Ripple take a look at the future of global money transfers and propose that their specific concepts are set to replace all other approaches. What will the future look like?”
The panel, which will convene in February, will be moderated by the Martin Bellin, the founder and CEO of corporate treasury management firm Bellin.
While banks and financial institutions around the world have been using Swift’s messaging protocol to power international payments for decades, Ripple is not shy about its ambitions to replace the legacy tech.
In a recent interview with Bloomberg, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse said rumors of a partnership between Ripple and Swift are unfounded. To be clear, Garlinghouse says Ripple’s payment solutions xCurrent and xRapid are designed to leave Swift in the dust.
“I think what we’re doing and executing on a day-by-day basis is, in fact, taking over Swift. In that, we’ve now signed up well over 100 banks. Some of the largest Swift-enabled banks in the world are now using Ripple’s technology.”
Ripple today announced that it now has 200 customers – banks and financial institutions – that use its suite of blockchain-powered tools for cross-border remittances. Swift says it links more than 11,000 financial institutions.
According to Garlinghouse, Ripple has clear advantages over Swift.
“Just last week we saw a remittance company who’s using Ripple’s technology. They reduced the price per transaction to their consumers from $20 per transaction to $2 per transaction, and they saw an 800% increase in usage overnight. That’s the type of dynamic that Swift isn’t able to support that we’re able to address right now. And that’s something we saw just in the last couple of weeks. So, we certainly want to see banks succeed in this new world order and take advantage of these technologies. To the extent we can work with Swift to do that, then that’s great.”
Swift has criticized blockchain technology in the past. Back in March, Swift completed a blockchain proof-of-concept using Hyperledger.
According to Damien Vanderveken, Swift’s head of research and development,
“The PoC also showed that further progress is needed on the DLT [digital ledger] technology itself before it will be ready to support production grade applications in large-scale, mission-critical global infrastructures.”
Meanwhile, Swift is developing its own set of improvements that are not based on blockchain in order to challenge Ripple and other competitors in the space. According to data compiled by Statista, the value of global cross-border payments in the retail sector is expected to increase from $1.95 trillion in 2016 to $3.56 trillion in 2022.
According to a report published by McKinsey & Company and Swift, the growing global cross-border payments market will be shaped by customers, not providers.
“In our view, customers are seeking a seamless and transparent experience. If people value real-time payments experiences domestically, there is reason to believe they will value them in an international context as well. Examples of services that customers value include reliable payments delivery, access to preferred payments methods, and the ability to track exchange rates and schedule payments based on this info. These services are already available for remittances, and will become increasingly so for cross-border bill payments and other use cases as well.”
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