American Express, Banco Santander and Ripple have teamed up to work on faster payments between the UK and the U.S.
While we know that Banco Santander has been a longtime partner at Ripple, American Express has also revealed at the Money 20/20 event in Amsterdam earlier this year that they are using XCurrent to settle international payments.
International payment scene
Cross-border payments have long been a tedious process, described by customers as slow, costly and opaque. With the international business thriving and the huge spread of new technologies, there was a high need for a new solution. The traditional industry giant SWIFT, which has integrated 11.000 banks into their network in 40 years, has found its competition in Ripple, a company that offers real-time blockchain-based interbank transfers. While Swift has issued its global payments innovation initiative, with faster transfers and improved tracking, Ripple has spread rapidly.
By April 2018 they had signed 100 financial institutions, which in quantity might be lower than SWIFT, but make up in size. Ripple was joined by giants like the Erste Group, MUFG, BBVA and the above mentioned American Express and Santander.
Initially, the new service, established by the trio, will enable American Express business customers to use FX International Payments on RippleNet to make instant, traceable cross-border payments to UK Santander accounts.
Marc Gordon, Executive VP and chief information officer at American Express, commented about the new service:
“This collaboration with Ripple and Santander represents the next step forward in our blockchain journey, evolving the way we move money around the world.”
The current solutions on the Ripple network, such as xCurrent and xRapid allow transfers and exchanges to one fiat currency from another, without the need for cryptocurrency. This is an attractive feature for many in the Ripple network, as this way their payments are not tied to the volatile crypto-market. The XRP, the native token to Ripple, functions separately from these services and will take an important role further in the evolutionary dynamics of Ripple.