What’s Going On?
Santander launched One Pay FX, a foreign exchange service that uses blockchain technology to make same-day international money transfers.
What Does It Matter?
Live in Spain, the UK, Brazil and Poland, the new platform is the first example of a major retail banking brand to complete international transfers in this way.
InnoVentures, Santander’s $200 million fintech venture capital fund, invested in Ripple in 2015. Santander says that to date it has made more than 20 investments in technology startups focused on emerging technologies. These also include the areas of artificial intelligence and big data.
Haven’t We Had Same-Day Transfers For Years?
Yes, but this is the shape of things to come. Prior to the launch, Julio Faura, Santander’s head of research and development for blockchain, told the Wall Street Journal:
It’s not just ‘yes, this technology works. We’re way beyond that phase. We’re also trying to prove that this technology can be used in a real setting.
Ana Botín, Executive Chairman of Banco Santander, said:
The launch of Santander One Pay FX is the first of many potential applications.
The new service is based on the distributed ledger system xCurrent, developed by California-based altcoin Ripple. Money transfer firms MoneyGram and Western Union have announced projects involving the cryptocurrency.