Mercury FX is an international payments specialist with offices in London, Hong Kong and South Africa. The company joined RippleNet to speed up transfers, lower costs and open up new markets that were previously too expensive to access.
The company’s original target audience was corporations and high-value individuals. However, the lengthy processing times and high fees for using existing cross-border settlement technology meant that only transferring large sums of money was profitable. To overcome these limitations, Mercury FX decided to investigate new approaches to global payments and a way to both improve services and market reach with RippleNet.
“Our sweet spot was high-value transactions,” explained CEO, Alastair Constance, “but to really grow we wanted to target anyone who needs cross-border payments. Disruptive technology like blockchain does not come along too often. When we discovered that Ripple could help us settle payments 100 times faster and at a fraction of the cost, it was a game-changing moment.”
Ripple helps deliver Mexican food faster
Mercury FX trialed On-Demand Liquidity through RippleNet—using the digital asset XRP as the bridge between the Mexican peso and the U.S. dollar—by donating to an orphanage in Mexico. Previously, transferring funds to Mexico was an arduous process that involved buying pesos from a banking partner then using the creaky correspondent banking network. A typical transfer from the U.K. to Mexico took up to three days and cost approximately U.S. $50.
“Mexico had never been economically viable for settling payments because the cost advantage was not there,” Constance recalled. “With RippleNet, we made that payment in seconds and the price dropped from U.S. $50 to about U.S. $2. The trial with the orphanage was so successful, we were soon facilitating payments for a U.K. business that imports Mexican food.”
The new settlement times are a major benefit to business like food importers who now receive their orders three days earlier than before. For multinational companies doing business with dozens of countries around the world, speeding up delivery times can have an extraordinary impact on productivity.
“Our corporate clients see faster settlements, faster transactions and goods shipped faster so they can do more business,” said Constance. “Individuals can buy houses or send money home to their families quicker. Ripple and RippleNet have allowed us to open up previously inaccessible markets so that our clients can trade freely at optimized speeds and costs.”
Opening up the global economy
Mercury FX is continuing to expand its reach with help from Ripple. The company is also using On-Demand Liquidity via RippleNet, as an alternative to pre-funding, to provide low-cost payment services to the Philippines. It’s even establishing a new office in Dubai to take advantage of the high number of Filipino migrants currently working across the United Arab Emirates.
“One of the advantages that RippleNet gives us is the ability to make smaller value transactions at much higher volumes,” explained Constance. “We are now doing remittances, which is very exciting for us. The Filipino market alone is worth U.S. $2.5 billion a year. Sending money there typically costs about 8 percent. We can easily beat that rate thanks to Ripple, which means huge savings for our customers and a new profit center for us.”
The company’s ambitions don’t stop there. Constance sees Africa as a major source of untapped potential, especially as the world’s people and economies becomes more connected.
“I see us becoming truly global citizens in the future,” he concludes, “and therefore money needs to be a truly global commodity. Before, Mercury FX primarily dealt with major economies and currencies. Now we’re part of an unbelievable network that spans the planet and opens up new markets. We look at the world in a totally different way thanks to Ripple.”