On October 2, Ripple Labs announced the integration of RippleNet into OnePay FX, a mobile application for cross-border payments developed by $80 billion banking giant Banco Santander.
The strategic partnership between Ripple Labs and Santander was announced in March of 2018, but at the time, the intricacies of the collaborative work between the two companies were not disclosed to the public.
Since March, the Ripple team explained in an official statement that Santander has been experimenting with RippleNet and other liquidity products available on its blockchain network. As the conglomerate started to pilot blockchain-based solutions, Santander saw a new level of transparency, certainty, and speed that was previously unseen in the traditional finance sector.
At Swell, Santander Head of Innovation Ed Metzger said the bank’s vision in the integration of Ripple is to utilize xCurrent, Ripple’s enterprise blockchain, to improve the lives of its customers.
“We believe that financial services is moving to a world of open platforms where companies collaborate to deliver excellent customer service for their customers, and that’s at the core of what we’re doing with OnePay FX.”
During his speech, Metzger explained that the core purpose of RippleNet within the infrastructure of the OnePay FX platform is to seamlessly process cross-border transactions to ensure that international customers of Banco Santander can send and receive money with ease.
“One of our customers was in Italy on holiday and parked in the wrong place. He needed to pay a fine and didn’t have his banking card. He was able to use the app to immediately pay the fine, and stop his car from being towed away. It’s four or five clicks to do something that would have taken an awful, awful long time in the past,” he added.
In the months to come, Santander will expand OnePay FX to more countries in Europe, South America, and Asia. Currently, the Ripple-based OnePay FX app is available to customers in the UK, Spain, Brazil, and Poland.
In essence, the work Ripple has done with Santander is similar to its partnership with SBI Holdings and major banks in Japan and South Korea. By using blockchain-based liquidity solutions, Ripple allows users to send international payments, which if sent with wire transfers could take days to weeks.
“People don’t have to plan ahead. They can send an international payment when they need to. That’s really powerful,” stated Mertzger.
Santander, as the biggest bank in the Eurozone, will continue to rely on Ripple to process international transactions.
Santander Partnership Will Impact Japan and South Korea
Led by SBI Ripple Asia, a consortium of over 61 Japanese banks, Ripple Labs have led pilot tests of its liquidity solutions with leading financial institutions in South Korea. Woori Bank and Shinhan Bank, two of the largest commercial companies in the country, released their plans of integrating Ripple by 2019.
The integration of RippleNet into the OnePay FX could streamline the process of banks implementing Ripple-related products in Japan and South Korea, which already have shown tremendous interest in the technology.
“Too many companies have a peanut butter problem. They’ve spread themselves very thin, working on lots of different initiatives. By contrast, Ripple has gone deep in understanding how global payments problem can be addressed with blockchain technology and digital assets,” said Ripple Labs CEO Brad Garlinghouse.
Update 16:45 UTC: The article has been updated to reflect that OnePay FX uses xCurrent and RippleNet, not XRP, to enable blockchain payments between bank accounts.
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