South Korean Bank Trials Ripple for Overseas Remittances

South Korea’s Woori Bank has reportedly completed a cross-border remittance test using the distributed ledger technology (DLT) developed by San Fransisco-based startup Ripple.

According to local business media source ChosunBiz, the completion of the trial arrives as the bank’s Digital Strategy Department reveals plans to commercialize the Ripple-based platform this year. It also marks a second phase of the trial, following an earlier test at the end of January.

The bank’s participation in piloting DLT payments comes as part of a wider effort that has seen another 60 or so Japanese banks also joining trials initiated by Japan’s SBI Group, the report says.

Previously, SBI Ripple Asia – a joint venture between Ripple and financial giant SBI –  said in September last year that it would begin testing cross-border remittances over Ripple’s solution between Japanese and South Korean banks by the end of 2017. The aim of the effort being to bring DLT into real-life use and bringing new efficiencies to banks’ cross-border transactions by cutting middlemen banks out of the equation.

According the September report, the group involved notable banks from Japan, including Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, Sumitomo Mitsui Financial Group and Mizuho Financial Group.

ChosunBiz indicates that other non-Japanese institutions involved include South Korea’s Woori and Shinhan banks, as well as Thailand’s Siam Commercial Bank.

Disclosure: CoinDesk is a subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which has an ownership stake in Ripple.

Woori Bank image via Shutterstock

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