In the second annual Blockchain in Payments Report presented by Ripple, 75% of financial service providers are interested in digital assets and seeking to position themselves well for the widespread adoption of blockchain-based payments. Strong adoption signals trust, and both customers and providers have proven the value and feasibility of blockchain. The main focus is leaning toward innovation and adopting blockchain into the corporate, enterprise and retail environments, but a few things need to happen first: speed and scalability of the network, ease of use for mainstream consumer adoption, and regulatory clarity. These three things are being addressed as we speak and projections are that over the next two years, we’re going to see development and adoption hit overdrive.
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And how could it not if three quarters of the financial service providers polled in Ripple’s new survey indicated that they are “very to extremely interested in digital assets.”
Ripple’s poll was conducted by a third party in August and September and included 1,053 respondents across 21 countries. According to their statement, all participants “are directly involved with payment services at their organization.”
These representatives hail from retail banking, digital banking, payment aggregators, and money transmitters. More than a third of those respondents stated they are “in production” in terms of implementing blockchain, and 27% stating that their entity is nearing actual implementation. Even though those numbers represent a minority, the results of the survey indicates that financial services providers are almost uniformly interested in exploring blockchain’s potential.
All of the respondents of the poll expressed a strong understanding of blockchain’s strengths compared to the previous year, and it’s clear that individuals and organizations see an opportunity to double down in cross-border payments by expanding existing services into new regions and introducing new services in existing regions.
There is a stronger demand in three of the top four cross-border payments services: digital payments for goods and services, mass disbursements and remittances. Of the three, remittances show the strongest jump in perceived demand, especially by respondents who are in or near production with blockchain technology for payments. The survey did not target Ripple customers however it weighed in responses based on the total in and outflow of remittances at the country level, in an effort to “have a country mix that represented the addressable market for blockchain in payments.”
There are concerns about regulations, but blockchain technology is being adopted worldwide. Digital banks that have already transformed their banking models are less concerned than traditional retail banks who have not yet embraced the next generation of technology. Respondents in emerging markets have even stronger concerns about regulations being prohibitive, and advanced markets are the most concerned about uncertain regulations. This new wave of acceptance will trigger higher implementation of digital banks, currencies, and blockchain technology.
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