This week: FairFX, HSBC, JP Morgan, Ripple, Santander, Swift, TransferTo, Yolt
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New data, new insights on international payments. Every week.

JPMorgan goes all blockchain 

Much of the JPMorgan (JPM) story around blockchain and crypto-currency revolved around CEO Jamie Dimon's controversial comments. While his position on Bitcoin has been consistently negative (see "I don't give a sh*t about Bitcoin"), he has spoken positively about the underlying Blockchain technology. 

Perhaps it shouldn't be too surprisingly then that last week JPMorgan announced the launch of JPM Coin - a new stable-coin (pegged 1:1 to the USD) designed to speed up internal settlement of institutional client funds. 

There's been quite a bit of speculation as to where JPM Coin might fit into the world of international payments. Here's how the current product compares to SWIFT and Ripple's offerings. 
JPM's use case above appears limited, in line with their stated focus on institutional clients. But as a $350bn behemoth bank with a multi-trillion dollar balance sheet, JPM has the wherewithal to move the needle in other areas if it wants. Key questions remain though:
  • If JPM attempts to compete with SWIFT or Ripple, would other banks agree to use a set of payment rails controlled by a competitor versus an independent institution (Ripple), or a banking cooperative (SWIFT)?
  • Does JPM care enough about blockchain and cross-border to really focus on this problem or this just a PR opportunity?
Since JPM has already invested heavily in blockchain and has its Interbank Information Network blockchain program which it says has 170 banks signed up to (Ripple has c.200 customers worldwide), we have to assume this is not a flash a pan. How much more and which banks may follow will remain to be seen.
Track the cross-border sector

Banks by-passing traditional payment rails

JPM's attempt to replace or speed up payment rails is not new. HSBC has already claimed to have sent $250bn of FX flows internally using blockchain technology. Santander offers its One Pay FX product (using Ripple) and New York based Signature Bank has also launched its own blockchain Signet platform to move client funds at any time of day within 30 seconds.
Three of the four banks above are using their own solutions which leaves some open questions...
  • Swift (and ACH in the US) can be slow. Blockchain is faster. Will speedier bank payments undermine a key payment company selling point?
  • Are JPM, HSBC or Signature using their own clients to test a product that will eventually be sold/rolled-out to the broader market or this just taking advantage of some PR in a quiet crypto market?
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Pricing insight #4

Last week we examined pricing data showing how providers are using introductory offers (such as reduced fees or special FX rates) to lure new customers along the GBP-INR corridor.

This week we're looking at the pricing for new customers along two of the UK's largest remittance corridors - India and Nigeria. You may notice some players here are more competitive than might be expected, at least at £500 (and if you want to see how prices changes without introductory rates, get in touch). 

Want to track your competitors pricing in real time, benchmark yourself against the market, or set a better pricing strategy? Access our FX Pricing APIs. Get in touch to find out more.
Get the best FX pricing data
On our radar this week:
Curated by FXC Intelligence's Team 
Veem offers $ rewards for businesses

Will small amounts of dollar rewards drive business behaviour? Veem thinks so.

TransferTo splits in two

DT One to focus on mobile top up and reward, Thunes for cross-border

FairFX next to go real time

FairFX has connected into the Bank of England's real time settlements. 

Yolt app to open up to business 

The Yolt money app is now targeting businesses. 


Missed the last few weeks - it's been the giants of the industry

New FX pricing APIs - closely monitor the competition (here)
Analysis of Western Union, MoneyGram and Ria 2018 results (here)
Finablr to IPO on the London Stock Exchange (here
Analysing the Ant Financial WorldFist acquisition (here)
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Have an wonderful week,

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