Santander and Ripple unveil blockchain-based consumer payments
As reported in February, Santander was planning to introduce this service for its retail clients in Q1 this year, according to the bank’s earnings presentation.
The service is now available to retail customers in Spain, UK, Brazil and Poland, and will be rolled out across more (unnamed) countries in the coming months.
It’s known as “Santander One Pay FX”, and lets customers complete international transfers on the same day in “many cases or by the next day”. The service also shows them the exact amount that will be received in the destination currency before they make the transfer.
Ana Botín, executive chairman of Banco Santander, says: “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.”
Botín adds that Santander One Pay FX is the “first of many potential applications” using blockchain.
The bank will add more features in the coming months, including offering instant international payments in several markets before the summer.
With the launch, Santander says it will become the first bank to roll out a blockchain-based international payments service to retail customers in multiple countries simultaneously.
At launch, each country will offer customers different payment options depending on the market. Customers in Spain, for example, will be able to send dollars to US and pounds to UK. Customers in the UK will be able to send euros to 21 countries and dollars to US, and from Brazil and Poland, pounds can be sent to the UK.
The new service uses xCurrent, a technology based on distributed ledgers owned by California-based Ripple. InnoVentures, Santander’s $200 million fintech venture capital fund, invested in Ripple in 2015.
In other news, and as reported yesterday (11 April), Ripple has invested $25 million in its XRP, a digital asset of the XRP Ledger, to Blockchain Capital’s most recent $150 million fund, specifically Blockchain Capital Parallel IV. San Francisco-based Blockchain Capital is the “first fund dedicated solely to the blockchain space and is also the first to accept capital calls in digital assets”.