How Blockchain and Crypto Meet Growing SME Demand
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are a dynamic force in the global economy today—especially in developing countries where SMEs contribute up to 40% of national GDPs, according to The World Bank.
The emergence of eCommerce has helped fuel this growth over the past two decades, and with it, introduced a specific set of needs among this new class of merchants that traditional financial institutions cannot meet. This includes securing financing for business growth; paying global suppliers and employees; and attracting new buyers with differentiated, modern payment options.
Blockchain and digital asset technology offer a solution.
Faster Cross-Border Payments
The majority of today’s global payment services are based on a fragmented infrastructure designed to serve larger corporations with significant payment volumes—not today’s digitally minded, fast-moving merchants. This results in costly delays and high foreign transfer fees, which negatively impact cash flow for merchants, and make it very hard to differentiate in a competitive marketplace and provide, at the same time, a standout customer experience.
For example, merchants using traditional global payment services providers can wait up to 2-3 days after they’ve sold product before they receive a payment from an overseas buyer. With limited working capital, this prevents merchants from investing in new products, stunting business potential.
Enter blockchain and digital asset technology. Those who use global payment services that run on Ripple can tap the world’s most advanced blockchain technology for faster, low-cost payments. This includes more than 300 financial institutions worldwide and spans 70 countries. Some of these institutions are taking it one step further. They provide added cost-saving to merchants by using On-Demand Liquidity services to avoid pre-funding, which rely on the digital asset XRP as a real-time bridge between the sending and receiving currencies.
Bringing Digital Assets Mainstream in Partnership with BitPay
Adoption of digital assets leveraged in payment solutions is growing. The market for crypto wallets, specifically, is expected to rise as consumer demand for alternative payment options increases.
Aligned in a common mission to solve these problems and increase digital asset adoption, Xpring recently announced a new partnership with BitPay—the largest crypto payment processor—to natively support XRP.
Today, BitPay launched the integration of its BitPay Wallet using Xpring’s stack, enabling thousands of global businesses to quickly and securely accept XRP as payment through BitPay’s merchant processing and cross-border payments platform. This removes the barrier to entry for SMEs looking to maximize differentiated customer payment options—without any additional integration on their part.
“With the addition of XRP,” said BitPay CMO Bill Zielke, “BitPay continues to expand consumers’ ability to transact in the currency of their choice and give merchants new exposure to a large base of loyal XRP users intent on driving real-world adoption.”
Blockchain and digital asset payment options are poised to provide better financial services. As more tangible use cases arise to fulfill the growing demands of businesses—both large and small—the true impact of this innovative technology will be realized.
Together—with our RippleNet customers and through partnerships with companies like BitPay—we are providing better payment services, tools and options to businesses everywhere.