Banco Santander announced the launch of its new international payments service using blockchain-based technology on April 4, 2018. Known as “Santander One Pay FX,” it is the first Ripple-enabled mobile app for conducting payments across borders. It leverages xCurrent, the recently launched Ripple payment solution.
Santander’s One Pay FX app
The bank’s Head of Innovation Ed Metzger began his session at Swell 2018 with a bold statement, “We want to tell you about our journey with Ripple, and how we’ve used the technology to improve our customers’ lives.”
Banco Santander is a Spanish multinational commercial bank and financial services company that does business as Santander Group and is known for its openness for innovation and adoption of blockchain technology. The One Pay FX app seeks to allow international transfers on the same day or by the next day for retail customers in Spain, UK, Brazil, and Poland.
Traditional wire transfers, on the other hand, can take an average of three to five days to process. Undoubtedly, the new service is a step forward for Santander and has led to a positive impact on the bank’s performance. With the launch of One Pay FX, Santander will become the first bank to roll out a blockchain-based international payments service to retail customers in multiple countries simultaneously. The bank plans to add more features in the following months, including instant international payments in several markets before the summer. It hopes to be significantly faster than existing international payment services.
The service uses xCurrent, a technology that is based on the distributed ledger owned by California-based Ripple. InnoVentures, Santander’s $200 million fintech venture capital fund, invested in Ripple back in 2015. In total, the fund has made over 20 investments in a range of financial technology startups focused on artificial intelligence, big data, blockchain, payments, financial advisory, SME, and automobile finance.
The Bank’s Future Plans
At the beginning of his speech at the framework of Swell 2018 on October 1, 2018, Metzger stated:
“Indeed, it’s a strong statement made by the team of the largest financial institution in the EU and one of the world’s leading bank that is an active player of ten different markets.”
Banco Santander currently has a client base of more than 140 million retail and commercial customers from all over the world. According to Metzger, One Pay FX has given the bank a better understanding of international payment standards. Speaking about the platform’s benefits, he stated, “With the help of Ripple’s blockchain technology, Banco Santander has managed to ensure a significantly higher level of transparency, certainty, and speed for its customers across a number of different markets.”
Metzger also said that Banco Santander has plans to bring OnePay FX to more countries in the coming months. Currently, the mobile application is only available in the U.K. With regards to changes in consumer behavior, Metzger said they’re seeing early signs of much bigger changes:
“People don’t have to plan ahead. They can send an international payment when they need to. That’s really powerful.”