Blockchain technology, the building blocks of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, is slowly but steadily going mainstream. In recent times, many traditional financial institutions have been experimenting with the blockchain in a bid to eliminate the challenges of making cross-border transactions. Now, Santander is set to launch an international payment solution powered by Ripple.
The Santander-Ripple Connection
According to the Financial Times, Banking big whale Santander group is set to finally launch its application for seamless and cheap cross-border payments, powered by the Ripple xCurrent blockchain platform.
The app which is known as One Pay FX will only be available to the company’s customers in the U.K., Brazil, Spain, and Poland for now, but it will enter many other countries by the end of 2018.
That’s not all, Santander is also focused on making the One Pay FX an industry standard for international payments. The group has hinted that it could make the distributed technology-powered app available to other financial institutions shortly.
A Long Time Coming
The Ripple-Santander initiative has been in the works for quite a long time now, even before many caught the cryptocurrency fever.
Santander’s One Pay FX, built on the Ripple blockchain, has been under development since 2016. Its successful launch will cement the legacy of Santander as one of the financial institutions to pioneer the full use of blockchain technology in carrying out foreign exchange payments for clients.
According to reports, the U.K. branch of the bank has been piloting the app with bank staffers for over a year now. They also tested the One Pay FX system using Apple Pay for sending payments as low as £10 up to £10,000 ($14.26 to $14,255.37) using Touch ID for secure sign-in.
Notably, in November 2017, the U.K. arm of the Spain-based bank announced plans to work with American Express, to use the Ripple blockchain network for cross-border business-to-business payments.
xCurrent not XRP
The Santander cross-border payment solution will not use Ripple’s native cryptocurrency. Instead, it will run on the firm’s xCurrent protocol, which is an enterprise software solution that facilitates instant, frictionless international transactions with end-to-end tracking.
xCurrent enable financial institutions to communicate in real-time to verify payment details before sending payments and to confirm successful delivery once the deal settles.
As noted by the Financial Times, cross-border transactions from the four nations the app will serve could account for at least half of the volume of the bank’s retail customers.
Ripple Going Places
The Ripple team has been establishing robust partnerships with quite many financial institutions in recent times.
On March 8, 2018, BTCManager reported that Ripple had established strategic partnerships with an array of Japanese banks and FinTech firms in a bid to launch and boost adoption for its MoneyTap app which facilitates real-time payments.
While the Ripple protocol continues to make significant progress in the banking and FinTech ecosystem, it remains to be seen whether these breakthroughs will trickle down to its native XRP cryptocurrency soon. At press time, the price of ripple is at $0.64, as seen on Coinmarketcap.