Ripple-backed PayID aims to break down payment silos

July 17, 2020 08:22
Kelvin Lee, Ripple’s head of Southeast Asia operations, believes the launch of PayID, a universal payment ID to simplify the process of sending and receiving money globally, will accelerate the adoption of digital payment worldwide. Photo: Ripple.

In 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto in an online paper outlined the vision for Bitcoin, a new type of electronic money, of which sending it to other people would be as easy as sending email.

Moving towards this vision, Open Payment Coalition, led by cryptocurrency company Ripple, launches a new payment service PayID, which allows users to send digital payments across different platforms, across borders.

In an exclusive interview, Kelvin Lee, Ripple’s head of Southeast Asia operations, also told EJ Insight how XRP, a digital asset built for payments, can play a major role in global landscape, as central banks rush into creating sovereign digital currencies.

With a goal to use blockchain technology to make money transfer faster, cheaper, and more reliable, 8-year-old blockchain company Ripple utilizes its proprietary payment network, RippleNet, to provide institutions a frictionless experience to send money globally. It also uses a cryptocurrency called XRP to facilitate cross-border transactions for its network.

Ripple, GoJek’s GoPay, Huobi,, Brave, BitPay, Hong Kong-based, and others, have collaborated through multinational alliance Open Payments Coalition on the development of PayID, a universal payment identifier for users allowing for interoperability between payment networks.

“Hong Kong has adopted the Faster Payment System (FPS) where they use the mobile phone number or the email address as a form of payment identifier as well. So similar to that, except that we do it in the cross-border payment space,” explained Lee.

PayID’s users can provide an email address or a phone number linked to their bank account to instantly receive funds without requiring complicated bank account numbers, international codes, routing numbers or SWIFT IDs.

PayID works across multiple payment networks and currencies - be it fiat or digital. “It's not just digital currency to fiat, it also works for card payment to fiat, or card to crypto; it really depends on the compliance of that user, and the organization in the country.”

Reaching more than 100 million consumers with over 40 members in the alliance, the new payment service will allow users to send or receive money anywhere in the world across multiple payment networks instantly.

“And we make PayID open source for any organization to join,” said Lee, adding that there have been a lot of interests from corporations since its launch, eyeing an expansion beyond ASEAN countries, to payment networks in India and other regions.

Named on the 2020 CNBC Disruptor 50 List announced this month, Ripple has earned about 300 institutional clients over 45 countries, reaching 1 billion end users worldwide, according to Lee.

Ripple has signed partnership deals with financial institutions including American Express, Santander, and money transfer giant MoneyGram, which received US$20 million in funding from Ripple last year.


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EJ Insight writer