Through this partnership, NBE and LuLu Exchange look to elevate the cross-border remittance experience into Egypt to be cheaper, quicker, and more reliable. Image Credit: Supplied

In a significant boost to the regional payments sector, Abu Dhabi-based financial services provider LuLu International Exchange – part of the LuLu Financial Group, has entered a partnership with the National Bank of Egypt (NBE) – the North African country’s largest bank, through Ripple’s global payments network RippleNet, to process cross-border payments from the UAE to Egypt.

With a large diaspora employed abroad in the Gulf states – including the UAE – Egypt received $24 billion in remittances in 2020 alone, making it one of the top five remittance recipients globally after India, China, Mexico, and the Philippines.

Remittances are vital for the countries that receive them, and these funds play a significant role in a country’s gross domestic product. Yet, the inherent friction in the current global payments infrastructure causes cross-border remittances to be costly and slow. Through this partnership, NBE and LuLu Exchange look to elevate the cross-border remittance experience into Egypt to be cheaper, quicker, and more reliable.

''Egypt ranks amongst the top five countries worldwide in terms of remittances received from its overseas expatriate communities. Given the important role remittances play in the Egyptian economy, the National Bank of Egypt is continuously aiming to develop and enhance the infrastructure which pertains to this line of business'', said Hesham Elsafty, Group Head for Financial Institutions and International Financial Services at NBE.

''NBE's partnership with Ripple will help to improve overall efficiency by enabling NBE to establish new alliances across wider markets with reduced cost and quicker integration time. We are very excited to announce our new partnership with Ripple and Lulu Exchange which we believe will contribute to a further acceleration of the Egypt-UAE remittances corridor',' added Elsafty.

“Our partnership with Ripple and NBE reaffirms our commitment to enhance the payments ecosystem of the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region through meaningful collaboration and suitable adoption of technology,” said Adeeb Ahamed, Managing Director of LuLu Financial Group. “By unlocking the full potential of the UAE-Egypt corridor, the partnership will help deliver a reliable, seamless and accessible cross-border payments solution for the Egyptian community and businesses in the UAE.”

“The ability to send and receive money quickly, reliably and inexpensively today plays a larger role than ever before,” said Navin Gupta, Managing Director of South Asia and MENA. “Ripple is proud to partner with NBE and LuLu Exchange to bolster the MENA region’s financial infrastructure and provide a frictionless cross-border payment experience for the Egyptian community.”

RippleNet leverages blockchain technology to help partners across a global network accelerate their business performance and scale. It delivers a superior end-customer experience, simplified network partnering, liquidity management solutions, lines of credit, and a state-of-the-art infrastructure that enables real-time payments.

LuLu Financial Group, which has a presence in over 11 countries globally, operates a network of 235+ branches, in different parts of GCC, Indian sub-continent and the APAC regions, of which 83 branches are spread across the length and breadth of UAE alone. This partnership between NBE and LuLu Exchange to serve the UAE-Egypt remittance corridor comes hot on the heels of LuLu Exchange’s recent connection to Federal Bank to enhance the cross-border payments experience into India.