Banco Santander Taps RippleNet to Speed Up Cross-Border Payments

The major bank seeks to defend its market share from high-flying startups such as TransferWise and Transfergo.

Spain’s multinational banking giant Banco Santander has expanded its One Pay FX international payments system to now include six countries. The lender also said it has enhanced its Ripple-powered payments system to enable ‘some payments’ on One Pay FX to happen instantly.

One Pay FX, which launched in 2018 as a cross-border payments app in partnership with Ripple, often facilitates same-day international payments though in some cases it takes until next day to settle a transaction. The intuitive helped the major bank to defend its market share from startups such as ‘unicorn’ TransferWise and smaller players like Transfergo.

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The relationship between Santander and Ripple dates back to 2015 when its InnoVentures fund invested $4 million in the crypto startup’s Series A round. The $200 million fund also provided capital to Securitize, which helps firms to tokenize their securities and assets, as well as blockchain intelligence company Elliptic.

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Explaining the rationale behind the latest improvements, One Pay FX’s CTO Ed Metzger said: “Customers told us that they never knew how much money was going to get to their recipient because it was never clear what the exchange rate would be or what fees would be charged. On top of that, they had no transparency about when the payment was going to get there. They just knew it would take 3-5 days. This type of feedback is standard across the industry. No one was solving the problem.”

He further states: “Ripple also helps us address the speed issue of international transactions. Some payments on One Pay FX now happen instantly. I made a payment recently from an account I have in Spain to one in the UK and received text alerts about the transaction from both accounts within seconds of one another.”

Although Ripple is regularly grouped with other cryptocurrencies, its purpose is different ‎as it also operates a ‎decentralized payment settlement solution for banks and financial institutions that is fast and ‎scalable.‎ As of this writing, Ripple ranks fourth on the list of top cryptocurrencies by market cap, behind bitcoin and Ethereum.

UK remittance firm Xendpay, as well as other big companies, are already using Ripple’s product across their payment services, including MoneyGram, Standard Chartered Bank, American Express, and many others.

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