Despite Ripple facing two lawsuits from the United States’ Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC], its products still seem to be much sought-after. According to a recent update from one of the oldest RippleNet members, Kuwait Finance House [KFH], it is now launching an instant cross-border payments service to Turkey.
As per the announcement, the bank will be using Ripple’s technology to bridge the gap of cross-border payments with Turkey. Kuwait Finance House has been among the leading Islamic banking institutions in the world and it has been a member of RippleNet since May 2018. Ever since it went live on the RippleNet in 2019, the bank has had plans to launch a service of foreign direct money transfers using Ripple to Turkey.
According to Khaled Yousif Alshamlan, Group General Manager Retail Banking, users’ ability to conduct instant transfer to KFH-Turkey will not incur any fees and will be available through websites and mobile applications [IoS and Android]. While talking about the technological advancements Alshamlan noted that the blockchain-based instant payments were adding to the services provided by the banks.
Interestingly, the World Bank’s statistics of 2019 showed that Turkey’s personal-remittances received dropped to $810 million, whereas the remittances paid has grown to $1.659 billion. However, given the push COVID-19 provided to online transfers, we could see a rise in these values when data is provided for the past year – 2020.
Meanwhile, Kuwait was the recipient of $25.95 million in remittances in 2019 and it paid a cumulative of $14.78 billion in 2019. It was clear from the figures that Kuwait sent much more remittances than it received. The received remittances, however, made up only 0.019% of Kuwait’s GDP in 2019.
As technology advanced, the middle-east along with other parts of the world has been trying to regulate cryptocurrencies. In a recent push, the Central Bank of Bahrain [CBB] has issued a ‘Crypto Asset Services Company License- Category 2’ to CoinMENA, an exchange soon to be launched. The exchange will be Sharia-compliant and is certified by the Shariyah Review Bureau. Its services will be available to the residents of Bahrain, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Oman.