Blockchain will transform cross-border remittances in three years: Ripple survey

Most African and Middle Eastern respondents to the survey also believed that most merchants in their regions will accept payments in crypto.

Blockchain will transform cross-border remittances in three years: Ripple survey
Asset: Freepik | Design by Ifeoluwa Awowoye for Mariblock. 

A global survey by Ripple and the US Faster Payments Council found that 97% of respondents believe that blockchain technology will significantly reduce the time and cost of cross-border remittances within the next three years.

Quick facts

  • Over 200 respondents who hold leadership positions in global sectors across 45 countries participated in the survey conducted in the first half of 2022.
  • Ripple’s survey found that most respondents worldwide believe that blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies would make payments more accessible and faster within one to three years.
  • However, while most respondents agreed that cryptocurrencies facilitate lower payment costs, among other benefits, only 17% supported crypto-enabled payments in their business when the survey was conducted.
  • Those whose businesses do not support crypto payments cite a lack of regulatory clarity in their country as the primary reason.
  • In addition, 24% of African and Middle Eastern respondents believed that most merchants in their region will accept payments in crypto within this year. On the other hand, 64% projected this will occur within the next three years.

Why this matters

  • In 2022, the average fee for sending money across borders in Africa was 8.01%, the highest in the world. Cryptocurrency has been proposed as a way to reduce these fees, and there have been a few crypto-based solutions developed for cross-border remittances in Africa.
  • Bitcoin companies, Strike and Bitnob partnered to facilitate global remittances into Africa using bitcoin. Strike’s CEO, Jack Mallers said transactions with the feature only take one minute to get settled.
  • In addition, the African crypto market has experienced significant growth over the years. However, Chainalysis found that transaction volumes remain among the lowest in the world, with small retail transfers making up to 81% of all transactions.

Zoom out

  • Some African crypto-based solutions have focused on retail payments for everyday goods.
  • Pick n Pay, a large retail store in South Africa, launched a payment system that allows users to pay for goods with bitcoin through Lightning-powered Bitcoin wallets.
  • Last week, Mariblock reported that another South African company, Momint, launched a partnership to allow users to purchase shopping vouchers with crypto.