Western Union’s CEO, Hikmet Ersek, has today shared what he thinks about the crypto industry. Speaking at the Brainstorm Finance 2019 conference, the CEO noted that they had tested Ripple and its blockchain technology.
Although Ersek asserted that digital currencies on the blockchain have a great future as a processing system for payments, their test result shows that sending money with payment networks like Ripple is 5-times more expensive than Western Union.
Western Union first revealed its interest in blockchain last year December, when the company’s President, Odilon Almeida, said that they “will be ready” to add cryptocurrencies as a payment option in the future. The money transfer firm has since then been investing and experimenting with those “that best meet (their) platform.”
President Almeida also revealed then that they are in a partnership with Ripple Labs to find out if sending money via blockchain technology would be faster and cheaper.
With Ersek stating that their experiments show that Ripple is more expensive in sending money, the company could abandon their interest in implementing blockchain tech in their system, although the CEO said that their test on Ripple is still ongoing.
Speaking about Ripple’s $50 million partnership with one of WU’s major competitors MoneyGram, Hikmet Ersek said that both Ripple and MoneyGram need something from each other but Western Union is “pretty much okay” with their settlement system as they “can move money in a way that nobody can move it so that works.” However, he also noted that they are open to any “cost-saving” technology and innovations.
MoneyGram will implement Ripple’s product XRapid and use XRP coin for its daily transactions while Ripple will acquire 8-10% stake in MoneyGram.