Blockchain payments startup Ripple has struck a deal to buy a stake in money transfer giant MoneyGram, the companies announced Monday.
Under the deal, according to the Wall Street Journal and Fortune, Ripple will spend $30 million to buy shares at a price of $4.10 apiece. And in the next two years, MoneyGram has the option to sell an additional $20 million worth of shares to Ripple at the same price. As noted by the Journal, MoneyGram shares are trading at about $1.45 apiece at press time, meaning Ripple’s purchase price is close to three times the current market value.
Notably, the deal will also see MoneyGram utilizing the digital token XRP as part of its day-to-day operations by way of Ripple’s xRapid transaction product. MoneyGram said that it was piloting the token back in January 2018, as CoinDesk reported at the time.
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.
In a statement, MoneyGram CEO Alex Holmes said “it’s imperative that we continue to improve our platform and provide the most effective solution to get funds from point A to point B.”
“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.”
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.
Brad Garlinghouse image via Nikhilesh De for CoinDesk