Santander has begun using an app for international payments using Ripple Labs’ blockchain technology, according to Ripple on its Ripple Insights website . The pilot app makes Santander the first U.K. bank to use Ripple technology for cross-border payments.
Santander is introducing the app as a staff pilot, with the intention to expand the technology.
Once the app is downloaded, Santander staff just have to complete profile details to start to make payments. The app connects to Apple Pay, where users can securely confirm payments using Touch ID. It allows users transfer between £10 and £10,000. Payments can be made from GBP to EUR and USD. Payments made in EUR can go to 21 countries while U.S. dollar payments can only go to the United States.
Ripple is providing the technology for the app.
“Leading banks like Santander are taking advantage of our enterprise blockchain solutions to improve their cross-border payments, drastically reducing the time and cost of settlement and enabling new types of high volume, low-value global transactions,” noted Monica Long on Ripple’s website.
The need for finance has expanded from providing a physical pound to being seamlessly integrated into a connected lifestyle, said Sigga Sigurdardottir, Santander’s head of innovation.
Santander is working to ensure its banking is fair, personal and simple, Sigurdardottir said, and it views blockchain technology as playing a transformative role in how it achieves its goals to better serve customers by adding value from creating more convenience and choice.
“Ripple is redefining the way that value moves around the world, and today we’re already enabling real-time, affordable international settlement between banks who have adopted our solutions,” said Chris Larsen, Ripple CEO and co-founder.
Larsen said Santander is the first bank in the world to transfer real funds externally, and that in doing so, they are creating a new service standard.
Security and regulatory compliance is key to all of Santander’s activity, Ripple noted, and the app has already undergone the testing needed for a rollout.
Santander InnoVentures – Santander Group’s $100 million fintech venture capital fund –joined Ripple’s Series A funding round as an investor, bringing the round’s total to $32 million in October.
Ripple’s Series A funding round included a mix of investment firms and global strategic investors that support Ripple’s vision to enable an Internet of Value by supporting the secure, real-time, settlement of funds for financial institutions and their customers globally.
“Santander InnoVentures is a natural fit in this round because of their demonstrated support for real-time international payments and their commitment to new technologies that enable Santander to empower its customers,” Larsen said at the time. “We are excited to work closely with them in building the Internet of Value and accelerating adoption amongst financial institutions, market makers and businesses worldwide.”
Mariano Belinky, managing partner of Santander InnoVentures, said the bank has long advocated modernizing banking infrastructure. In its Fintech 2.0 report, Santander highlighted a $20 billion opportunity for the financial services industry where distributed ledger technology will have a positive impact.
Belinky said Ripple has the technology, talent, and momentum to address many such scenarios, and is exploring how best to apply Ripple technology in the bank. “Ripple and Santander share a common vision of the future of the industry, and we intend to jointly advocate it in the community,” Belinky said.
Featured image from Shutterstock and LinkedIn.