Ripple Adds Top Latin America Bank to Its Cash-Transfer Network

Ripple, the San Francisco-based venture looking to rewire financial firms with Bitcoin’s underlying technology, said Latin America’s biggest bank by market value is among five new customers joining its international money-transfer network.

Brazil’s Itau Unibanco Holding SA, India’s IndusInd Bank Ltd. and a trio of remittance companies plan to use RippleNet, a service using blockchain, Ripple said Wednesday. The RippleNet messaging and settlement system now has about 100 customers — including many from developing markets seeking to lower their costs when sending money.

“Emerging markets are where the opportunity is most acute because there are high volumes of low-value transactions,” said Patrick Griffin, Ripple’s senior vice president for business development. “If it costs $50 to transfer $50, that obviously doesn’t work.”

The three remittance companies are Brazil’s Beetech, Singapore’s InstaReM and Canada’s Zip Remit. RippleNet’s entrenched competitor is the Brussels-based Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, or Swift, which connects more than 11,000 institutions.