International money transfer service MoneyGram has announced that it will adopt Ripple’s XRP token into its payments system in a bid to increase the speed and reduce the cost of cross-border payments.
Ripple and MoneyGram — the world’s second-largest provider of money transfers — made the announcement on Thursday, explaining that the two companies would partner to launch the open-ended pilot program to increase the efficiency of the Dallas-based company’s internal processes.
“The payments problem doesn’t just affect banks, it also affects companies like MoneyGram, which help people get money to the ones they care about,” said Brad Garlinghouse, chief executive officer of Ripple. “By using a digital asset like XRP that settles in three seconds or less, our clients can move money as quickly as information.”
MoneyGram will integrate XRP through xRapid, Ripple’s on-demand liquidity product that provides financial institutions with real-time foreign exchange settlement.
“Ripple is at the forefront of blockchain technology and we look forward to piloting xRapid,” said Alex Holmes, chief executive officer of MoneyGram. “We’re hopeful it will increase efficiency and improve services to MoneyGram’s customers.”
The news is significant for the San Francisco-based Ripple, which has convinced numerous financial institutions to trial its enterprise blockchain network (RippleNet) but has seen few of those firms adopt the XRP currency itself.
Due to the lack of XRP adoption, many analysts have criticized XRP’s recent price rally, which at one point made Ripple co-founder Chris Larsen the nominal eighth-richest person in the world.
“And to be clear,” Ripple’s Garlinghouse added in a tweet perhaps directed at these critics, the “MoneyGram announcement is one step in a marathon ahead to truly make XRP the global liquidity solution for payment providers and banks.”
Recently, Garlinghouse claimed that at least three major money transfer firms will adopt XRP in 2018, of which MoneyGram is likely the first.
The XRP price surged on the news, rising more than 11 percent to $2.17 during intraday trading.