The Santander Group is ready to disrupt the world of traditional banking with its new Ripple payments app, set to release this week. The app will help in facilitating cross-border foreign exchange with exhilarated speeds, using Ripple’s networks. The new app is expected to make foreign remittances easier, faster and cheaper.
The Financial Times reported on Thursday that the app would be called One Pay FX. Santander earlier suggested that it will roll out the app in Poland, UK, Spain and Brazil, its biggest market. As the app is made available to these countries, several other small businesses located in other countries will be added to the network. The bank is also sure of providing similar services to all of its users in the upcoming months, helping them extend the services to other financial institutions as well.
The bank has collaborated with Ripple, a San Francisco based blockchain startup, which released the Ripple XRP cryptocurrency. It is currently the third largest in the world by market cap. The app has been in development for over two years. After the Friday launch, Santander will become a pioneer in facilitating cross-border exchange using blockchain based solutions.
CoinDesk reported that the Spanish bank’s UK arm is busy with this development after entering into a contract with Ripple in 2016. After some time in development, the bank also started a trial for the payment system among their UK staff with good results. The partnership between Ripple and Santander is not new. As one of the leading banks interested in cryptocurrencies and blockchain, the bank invested $4 million in Ripple in 2015 through InnoVentures, its venture capital arm. The Series A funding of the startup brought a total of $32 million to Ripple.
Ripple xCurrent platform will be used for making this app work. This platform is specifically designed for creating distributed networks that could facilitate almost instant cross-border payments. However, the xCurrent platform does not use the native blockchain currency XRP. The volume of foreign exchange transactions to be carried on this network could be more than half of current Santander retail consumer market.
Using the new payments app, the customers in these four countries will be able to make same-day payments to merchants or other customers based in other countries. The payments will be made in less than a minute, as compared to the long waiting times today. The app is also equipped with a digital wallet to hold currencies and reflect the latest transactions. Additionally, there will be a personal finance manager for the customers who will help in understanding the app’s usage. The manager could also help in aiding person-to-person payments if the need be.
The launch of this app will help in solidifying Santander’s reputation as an innovation-friendly bank. At a time when most of the Wall Street is still not dipping their toes in this revolution and trying to create their own versions of blockchains, the Santander Group has gone a step ahead, working with a company which has already created a trusted network.