Institution-Backed Upstart Enters Stablecoin Race

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Rapyd aims to be the traditional banking sector’s answer to the dawn of stablecoins, which could rock the financial world in form of products like Facebook Libra.

Libra has garnered the concerns of regulators the world over, particularly in Facebook’s home of the United States, where regulators have repeatedly grilled executives about the implications of a parallel financial system.

Rapyd raised money earlier this year, and now it’s completed a second round of funding from the same backers of companies like Stripe.

Stripe once made headlines by offering optional Bitcoin support to its clients. The company works much like any other card payment processing firm, taking a slice of the till in exchange for convenient processing and integration.

Rapyd believes it can build a traditional payments network to compete with inbound stablecoin solutions, and the company has raised dozens of millions to do so.

Speaking through a press release, CEO Arik Shtilman said:

“As more than half of all transactions worldwide are facilitated via bank transfers and cash, merchants find it increasingly difficult to digitally enable local payment methods and process cross-border sales that are required for international expansion.”

Companies like Rapyd have an advantage in the billions of people who have no access to the digital economy. These people will struggle to get on-board the crypto train, as well. However, mobile phones have penetrated unbanked region to the extent that crypto at least has a fighting chance, as BSN previously reported.

Fintech As A Service

Boasting “local payments, global reach” Rapyd will do the legwork for companies on both sides of a transaction, while charging a competitive fee.

The company enables businesses worldwide to sell goods, collect debts, become compliant, conduct foreign exchange, issue cards and integrate card payments. Rapyd calls its product “fintech as a service.”

Banks already have extremely fast settlement layers such as SWIFT, but they struggle in one respect that cryptos don’t: mutability.

Banks also struggle to expand in regions where the existing infrastructure is weak or developing, but Rapyd, like many financial technology firms, will work to ease the frictions for people on both sides.

Building a network like Rapyd will enable banks to offer services to a new class of customer, potentially extending the existing digital financial map by tens of millions of people if not more.