Spanish bank Santander has launched a new international payments service using blockchain-based technology.
Santander One Pay FX allows customers to complete international transfers on the same day or by the next day. It also shows them the exact amount that will be received in the destination currency before they make the transfer.
The bank plans to add more features, including instant international payments in several markets. This would make it significantly faster than existing international payment services.
The new service uses xCurrent, a technology based on distributed ledgers owned by California-based Ripple. Santander’s $200m fintech venture capital fund, InnoVentures, invested in Ripple in 2015.
According to Santander, it is the first bank to roll out a blockchain-based international payments service to retail customers in multiple countries simultaneously. The service is currently available to retail banking customers in the UK, Spain, Brazil and Poland, and there are plans to extend it to additional countries in the next few months.
Ana Botín, executive chairman of Banco Santander, said: “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 the 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.”
Botín concluded: “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.”