Ripple has agreed to invest up to $50 million in MoneyGram as part of a two-year partnership that will see the ever-present money transfer firm embrace the blockchain startup’s XRP digital currency for cross-border payment and foreign exchange settlement.
The initial investment will consist of $30 million to buy shares and a warrant to buy common stock at $4.10 a share – a big premium on MoneyGram’s closing price on Monday of $1.45. MoneyGram can also choose to let Ripple invest another $20 million at a minimum price of $4.10 per share.
MoneyGram’s share price more than doubled on Tuesday on the news of the funding and is now fluctuating around the $2.2 – $2.6 price range
The partnership, which will have an initial term of two years and builds on a it’s pilot test which started last year
We’ll see MoneyGram use XRP via Ripple’s payment network xRapid in an effort to speed up and cut the cost of transferring money.
Alex Holmes, CEO, MoneyGram, says: “Through Ripple’s xRapid product, we will have the ability to instantly settle funds from US dollars to destination currencies on a 24/7 basis, which has the potential to revolutionize our operations and dramatically streamline our global liquidity management.”
MoneyGram’s decision to embrace blockchain technology comes as it faces increased competition from newer rivals. Last year, Chinese giant Ant Financial reacted to being blocked from buying MoneyGram by building its own home-grown blockchain-based cross-border remittance service.
Ripple claims that XRP is the most efficient digital asset for payments with transaction fees at just fractions of a penny, compared to Bitcoin fees of about $30 per transaction. The firm also boasts average transaction times for XRP of two to three seconds
MoneyGram already services 200 countries and territories, with roughly $600 billion processed in the global remittance market. At present, the company uses traditional foreign exchange markets, which requires pre-funding accounts. Ripple and MoneyGram anticipate settlement fees dropping from $30 per transaction to “fractions of a penny,” while settlement times are expected to drop from 15-60 minutes to just a few seconds.
Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse likewise said in a statement that the partnership will allow MoneyGram to “greatly improve its operations and enable millions of people around the world to benefit from its improved efficiency.”
“This is a huge milestone in helping to transform cross-border payments and I look forward to a long-term, very strategic partnership between our companies,” he said.