LuLu Exchange, a financial services company in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and Pakistan’s Bank Alfalah are partnering to bring faster and more cost-effective cross-border payments and remittances from the UAE to Pakistan using RippleNet.

Fast facts

  • Bank Alfalah’s integration with RippleNet — Ripple’s global payments network for financial institutions — and its launch with LuLu Exchange is the first for Pakistan, Gulf News reported. The launch is a pilot for a wider rollout planned across Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Singapore and Malaysia.
  • “Pakistan remains a key payments corridor for us, and we firmly believe that the partnership with Bank Alfalah and RippleNet will help foster new opportunities,” said Adeeb Ahamed, managing director at LuLu Financial Group, in a statement. “By showing our commitment to strengthen the payment ecosystem from the UAE to Pakistan, we are determined to make the process of cross-border remittances more affordable and reliable for our consumers.”
  • The partnership between Bank Alfalah and LuLu Exchange will benefit the large Pakistani diaspora living and working in the UAE. Pakistan nationals are the second largest expatriate group in the UAE after India. In 2020, the top three source countries for remittance outflows were the United States (US$68 billion), the United Arab Emirates (US$43 billion) and Saudi Arabia (US$35 billion), according to Migration Data Portal. Pakistan is the fifth-largest remittance receiving country, with US$26 billion in remittances received in 2020, according to World Bank data.
  • Despite its legal troubles in the United States with the ongoing SEC v. Ripple Labs lawsuit, blockchain payments company Ripple has seen unprecedented growth of its On-Demand Liquidity (ODL) service on RippleNet, which facilitates cross-border payments by using XRP as a bridge between two currencies, with a series of market launches this year including Japan, the Middle East and now Pakistan. According to Ripple’s Q3 2021 XRP Markets Report, ODL transactions increased 130% quarter over quarter and transaction volume on RippleNet more than doubled since 2020.
  • Last week, Ripple announced that it will be launching in 2022 the Ripple Liquidity Hub, which will allow enterprises to access and source liquidity from the broader crypto market for a range of cryptocurrencies including XRP, Bitcoin and Ethereum.

See related article: Ripple to launch ‘game-changer’ liquidity hub amid XRP legal battles with SEC