Cross-Border Payment Portal Is Latest to Join Libra Association

189, an online payment processor, has become the newest member of the Libra Association.

The company revealed Tuesday that it would join the Libra Association in developing its series of stablecoins. Libra was announced last year as an effort to create a single global currency which could expand financial services to anyone who had a smartphone and an internet connection, though some of these ambitions have since been scaled back.

Backed by Insight Partners, DST Global, Singapore’s sovereign Wealth Fund, Blossom Capital and Endeavor Catalyst in a fundraising round last year, the company focuses on cross border payments, one area Libra originally hoped to reduce friction when first announced last year, according to Forbes.

“Everything we do is to improve our merchants’ businesses by helping to optimize their payments function and drive operational efficiencies,” CEO Guillaume Pousaz wrote in a blog post. “This allows them to serve more customers, in more geographies, gaining the most value out of their transactions.”

The group had already been interested in how blockchain tools could improve the way transactions are processed worldwide, he wrote. However, he said a strong regulatory framework is necessary to ensure a “secure and stable payments infrastructure,” one which would aid in adoption.

The Libra Association shares this view, he wrote.

Pousaz also pointed to financial inclusion, one of the stated goals of the Libra Association, as another area his company hopes to help in.

“It is obvious to me and the wider team that we want to be part of this effort and can contribute to this endeavor by bringing our unparalleled payments engineering expertise,” Pousaz said.

In a statement, Libra Association head of policy and communications Dante Disparte welcomed the company to the organization.

The news comes a week after the global nonprofit Heifer International announced it had also joined, and makes Libra the 24th member of the organization.

Libra was originally announced with 28 starting members, though several withdrew before the organization was formally chartered due to regulatory concerns and pressure. Vodafone also withdrew earlier this year to focus on its own native digital payment system, M-Pesa.

Since then, however, Libra has added a few new members and revised its white paper in an effort to address concerns by global regulators about its original stablecoin vision.

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