Santander reveals world’s first retail blockchain transfers
Santander One Pay FX is the first bank blockchain international payment service for retail customers.
Santander has revealed its shortly-awaited new retail international payment system, the bank has announced.
The Santander One Pay FX system is now available to retail customers in Spain, UK, Brazil and Poland, and it's expected to be rolled out in more countries in the near future. It uses the Ripple cryptocurrency network to let customers make same-day international transfers, or next-day in some cases. It also lets users see their fees beforehand, rather than getting buffeted by surprise fees along the way.
The platform uses Ripple's xCurrent system rather than XRP itself, and was built with the help of a $200 million Ripple investment from InnoVentures, Santander's fintech venture capital fund.
Santander intends to add more features in the coming months, including instant international payments.
The launch of this service makes Santander the first bank to roll-out a blockchain-based international payments service to customers in multiple countries simultaneously.
"One Pay FX uses blockchain-based technology to provide a fast, simple and secure way to transfer money internationally - offering value, transparency, and the trust and service customers expect from a bank like Santander," said Ana Botín, Executive Chairman of Banco Santander. "From today, customers in the UK can use One Pay to transfer money across Europe and to the US. In Spain, customers can transfer to UK and US, while customers in Brazil and Poland can transfer to the UK. Transfers to Europe can be made on the same day and we are aiming to deliver instant transfers across several markets by the summer."
"Our goal is to help the thousands of people who use international payments services every day, and we will be adding more currencies and destinations in the coming months. Blockchain technology offers tremendous opportunities to improve the services we offer our customers, and the launch of Santander One Pay FX is the first of many potential applications."
The options available to customers will vary depending on location. For example, customers in the UK will be able to send Euros to 21 countries and dollars to the UK, while users in Brazil and Poland can send pounds to the UK.
From the consumer's perspective, it's still likely to be more expensive and less efficient than making certain cryptocurrency payments directly peer to peer, but it's a major improvement on typical fiat currency transfers.
Disclosure: At the time of writing the author holds ETH, IOTA, ICX, VEN, XLM, BTC, NANO