For the millions of remitters in South Korea, speed and cost matters—time delay in payments can interfere with covering critical expenses like emergencies, tuition payments and unexpected bills. However, for many years, the remittance market in Korea was controlled entirely by large financial institutions—leading to high foreign transfer fees and costly delays. Rule changes introduced in 2017 have now allowed non-bank companies to offer consumer remittance services.
Seizing this opportunity, Coinone Transfer partnered with RippleNet for its retail remittance product, Cross—South Korea’s first blockchain-powered remittance mobile app offering fast, lower cost payments to nearby markets, including Thailand and Sri Lanka. Since launching in 2018, Coinone Transfer has experienced a 50% month-over-month growth rate in payment volume and was able to reduce fees by 90% compared to what banks are charging customers.
Today, almost half of Ripple’s customers on RippleNet are based in Asia-Pacific (APAC), eight total, with the recent addition of Sentbe, Hanpass and WireBarley and more in Korea revealing the significant need for improved cross-border payment services in and out of the country. SBI Ripple Asia, a joint venture between SBI Holdings and Ripple, is responsible for the growth of RippleNet in Japan and South Korea.
Not unlike Coinone Transfer, Sentbe is a money transfer service provider that uses cutting-edge technology to offer an easier, faster, and more convenient way to transfer money abroad. Sentbe focuses on the South- and Northeast Asia corridor, including The Philippines, Indonesia, Vietnam, Japan and China, and saves their customers up to 95% in remittance fees over banks.
For Hanpass, the focus is on simplifying the steps necessary for sending money in and out of Korea. The company enables its users to safely send money across borders without the hassle of creating local bank accounts in-person through a complex identification process. Hanpass makes this possible by providing their users with an easy and secure mobile identification process.
Fintech startup, WireBarley, provides mobile and online based cross-border remittance services in APAC. The company was an early pioneer in the Australian remittance corridor and has since expanded to other countries including Korea, New Zealand, Vietnam, Philippines, Hong Kong, Japan and the United States.
“South Korea is a hotbed of fintech innovation, and we’re committed to grow our customer base and presence,” said Emi Yoshikawa, Sr. Director of Global Operations. “Since the Korean government started licensing payment providers for remittance in 2017, we have witnessed how Korean payment providers dramatically improved payments experience for their customers, and we are pleased to be part of their on-going efforts.” Together with SBI Ripple Asia as our local strategic partner, we make it our mission to enable our customers to grow their business through the use of Ripple technology.
In partnership with these and all Ripple customers, RippleNet provides financial institutions the technology infrastructure and network connections to provide remitters in Korea and around the world with a faster, easier and more reliable way of sending money home.
If you’re interested in learning how RippleNet can help better serve your customers, contact us. Companies located in South Korea can contact SBI Ripple Asia to learn more about how to save time, lower costs and reduce risk in cross border transactions.