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Mercury FX eyes expat borrowers with cryptocurrency test send in 2.5 minutes

  • 11/05/2018
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Mercury FX, a City-based global currency specialist has sent $100 to a Mexican charity in under three minutes using cryptocurrency Ripple - opening up possibilities for expat buy-to-let purchasers.


Mercury said the live service could be months away, but the test proved a simpler and more cost efficient exchange was deliverable shortly.

Ripple is the name for both a digital currency (XRP) and an open payment network within which the currency is transferred. It is a payments system, which describes its goal as enabling people to break free of the “walled gardens” of financial networks.

At the start of May, specialist packager, Thistle Finance, partnered with global currency specialist, Mercury FX, to offer UK expats end-to-end savings when purchasing UK buy-to-let property while overseas.

Scotland, in particular, is a major growth area for expat buy-to-let, with Skipton International recently launching north of the border to accommodate rising demand. Similarly, Aldermore has further widened and improved its lending criteria for UK expats keen to let out Scottish property, many of whom work overseas in the oil and gas industries but are keen to remain on the property ladder in Scotland.


Cost savings

Mercury FX said it could typically save 4% on transaction fees compared to the average high street bank, potentially saving £20,000 for an expat transferring the equivalent of £500,000 of foreign currency into Sterling to purchase a buy-to-let.

Santander became the first high street bank to launch a cross-border payments system in April, based on blockchain, using the new technology with a view to taking on specialist fintechs such as TransferWise.

The “One Pay FX” service is already available for the bank’s customers in Spain, the UK, Brazil and Poland and Santander and executive chairman Ana Botín told the FT it aims to eventually make it available as a standalone app, available to non-Santander customers.

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