Real-time payments specialist Ripple has set up operations in Brazil as the first stage of the planned expansion of its RippleNet cross-border payments network across South America.
The company announced in a release that it has hired veteran fintech entrepreneur and executive Luiz Antonio Sacco as managing director to drive strategy and help develop Ripple’s business in the region, although his LinkedIn profile indicates that he joined back in March. Sacco has previously been an executive at American Express and Banco Bradesco.
Eric van Miltenburg, Ripple’s SVP of global operations, commented: “In January, Ripple surpassed 200 customers on RippleNet. The company is experiencing rapid customer growth across all markets and is launching in Brazil in response to high customer demand in South America.
“We are fortunate to have Luiz on board to expand our presence in the region and help our customers address the challenges of cross-border payments.”
Ripple reports that it is adding an average of two to three new financial institutions weekly to RippleNet, which recorded more transactions in Q1 2019 than it did for the whole of 2018.
The company reports that in Brazil it already has over a dozen financial institutions and money transfer companies using its RippleNet product. They include the Brazilian division of Santander, money transmitter BeeTech and local bank Banco Rendimento.
Ripple is exhibiting RippleNet at this week’s three-day tech event CIAB Febraban, being held in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo.
Later this year, the company plans to focus on building its customer base and team in Brazil and in neighbouring countries such as Chile, Peru and Argentina.
The company said that it is also committing resources to top Brazilian universities, including University of São Paulo and Fundação Getulio Vargas to help support academic research and technical development across areas including law, business and engineering.
“We’re excited to grow our ecosystem in the region and bring additional financial institutions onto RippleNet to help provide excellent, efficient cross-border payment experiences for their customers,” said Sacco
“We believe that academic institutions will play a key role driving the blockchain industry forward. USP and FGV are innovative, forward-thinking institutions that are investing in blockchain research to explore new use cases and help prepare students for future jobs in this space.”
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