Santander Launches Blockchain Intl Exchange Service App
Banco Santander launched its international exchange service payment app that is based on blockchain technology to retail customers.
The Santander One Pay FX uses Ripple’s Blockchain technology to cut the cost and waiting time associated with international funds transfers. The service will show customers the exact amount that the destination currency will receive before they make the transfer.
Further, the bank said it is the “first bank to roll out a blockchain-based international payments service to retail customers in multiple countries simultaneously.” The smartphone app is currently live in Spain, the UK, Brazil, and Poland.
“From today, customers in the UK can use One Pay to transfer money across Europe and to the US. In Spain, customers can transfer to UK and US, while customers in Brazil and Poland can transfer to the UK,” said executive chairman Ana Botín in a press release.
The countries will cover around half of the annual FX transfers made by Santander customers. In addition, the bank said it plans to expand the services to more countries. As well as the types of customer such as small businesses in the coming months.
Botín said the One Pay FX plans to include more features, including “instant international payments in several markets before the summer.”
“Blockchain technology offers tremendous opportunities to improve the services we offer our customers, and the launch of Santander One Pay FX is the first of many potential applications,” she said.
Blockchain, or distributed ledger technology, is a decentralized network that records an increasing list of transactions.
Additionally, it was used as the technology to underpin bitcoin banks. However, banks have become strongly interested in other use cases, such as clearing and settling payments.
Botín said that her enthusiasm for this project grew after she saw her son using a rival service that could quickly transfer payments within Spain. Santander has been working for over two years on this payment system before finally launching today to its customers.
Coindesk reported that the UK arm of the Spain-based bank kicked off the project in conjunction with Ripple in 2016. During that time, the bank was trialing the app among its staff in the UK.
Santander and Ripple Partnership
The app came as a result of a continuing partnership between Ripple and Santander.
The bank has been investing in Ripple since 2015 through its venture capital fund InnoVentures. Until now, Santander is said to have invested over $200 million in Ripple technology.
Moreover, the fund is said to have over 20 investments across the range of financial technology startups. These include the fields of blockchain, artificial intelligence, financial advisory, big data, and others.
Meanwhile, Ripple has struck partnerships with multiple banks and other financial institutions. Banks are less keen to use the firm’s digital currency XRP.
However, money transfers MoneyGram and Western Union announced projects involving the cryptocurrency earlier this year.
Ripple has recently made a $25 million investment, in form of XRP tokens, in Blockchain Capital.
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