Aug 19 / 2019
Latest News / Blockchain news/ Crypto

Santander to connect Latam to Ripple-powered payment service

By Christopher Attard

Spanish banking conglomerate Santander Group is expanding its “payment corridor” for cross-border remittances by using Ripple’s xCurrent software solution in Latin America.

The giant is reportedly working on several projects that aim to make international transaction faster, easier, and cheaper than legacy banking systems currently offer, according to Cedric Menager, CEO of One Pay FX.

As per the report, Santander is building a “payment corridor” for their customers in Latin America, which is set to be rolled out on a country-by-country basis and will enable instant U.S. transfers for free through the One Pay FX app. Presently, this option is only available to Spain and the UK. The U.S. launch is set toe be a heavier lift for the bank because of the difference in financial regulations.

The CEO said:

Customers who were not doing international transfers are now using the service, customers who were using international transfer are now doing it more, and customers who had gone to use fintech competition have come back because of the One Pay offering.

Presently, Santander UK’s website states that customers can make international payments using online or telephone banking via one of their banking branches or through Santander’s One Pay FX app. Like Santander’s DLT efforts to date, the new payment capability will not involve XRP, the native token that Ripple periodically sells to fund operations and that powers its separate xRapid product.

The application uses xCurrent, one of Ripple’s solutions that aims to facilitate instantaneous settlements and end-to-end tracking of cross-border payments among users.

Last year, Santander introduced One Pay FX in four countries that account for more than half the bank’s profits: Spain, the U.K., Brazil and Poland. InnoVentures, Santander’s fintech venture capital fund, also made an investment in Ripple in 2015, according to the bank’s website.

Volume uptick

While Santander did not reveal its transaction volumes for One Pay FX, it claims that volumes tripled from January 2019 to June and volumes for Spain increased by 120 percent year-over-year in April.

The expansion of One Pay FX will mean a bigger change for some Latin American customers, who will go from making international transfers in branches to instant online payments, than for European customers, said Menager.

The international payment experience in the Latin American markets is even less evolved than in the European markets,” he said. “There are even parts of the Latin American market where it’s almost impossible to do an online international payment.

The “payment corridor” could play a vital role in introducing nuanced blockchain-based payment solutions outside the traditional banking system, which is falling behind in meeting today’s expectation of an instant, frictionless banking service.

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