Ripple continued its expansion today into the global remittance market by partnering with the National Bank of Egypt (NBE), the largest and oldest state-owned bank in the country.
A Ripple representative confirmed the partnership to Decrypt but would not provide further details at this time.
This is the first time an Egyptian bank would partner with a crypto payments company, according to the chairman of the bank, Hisham Okasha. In a statement, the bank said it aims to specifically grow its remittance business amongst Arab Gulf states and with countries around the world.
The vice chairman of the bank, Dalia El-Baz, cited Ripple’s partnership with over 300 banks and financial institutions around the world as a reason for joining the RippleNet network. Chairman Okasha added that the bank conducted “safety tests” before agreeing to join Ripple’s network.
The Middle East and North Africa cross-border remittance market grew to $62 billion as of 2018, in which the Arab Republic of Egypt accounted for $29 billion, according to the World Bank last year.
Crypto companies like Ripple hope to disrupt a remittance payment market which remains too costly. The average cost of a $200 payment is around 7 percent, much higher than the target of below 3 percent, according to the World Bank.
Ripple has shown keen interest in the cross-border payments market and continues to partner with firms in the sector.
Last week the company announced an expansion into the US-Mexico cross-border payments corridor by partnering with Intermex, a leading remittance service in North America.