- Santander using blockchain-based payment system already in Brazil, Mexico, the UK, and Spain
- Soon, this international payment system will run on all of its 10 corridors, said John Whelan, Managing Director of Digital Investment Banking at Banco Santander
In April 2018, Santander launched a foreign exchange service that uses the blockchain technology via Ripple to make same-day international money transfers. At the time, it said the service called Santander One Pay FX has been the first cross-border payments service using blockchain made by a bank.
It went live in the UK, Span, Brazil, and Poland and was expected to be rolled out in other countries in subsequent months.
Now, on Nov. 14, John Whelan, the Managing Director of Digital Investment Banking at Banco Santander revealed that their blockchain-based payment system is running on four corridors including Mexico.
“We actually have a blockchain-based international payment system that is running on 4 of our corridors, Brazil, Mexico, the UK, and Spain. It will be on all 10 soon,”
said Whelan in his keynote address to The Institute of International and European Affairs (IIEA), an Ireland-based Irish policy think tank and EU advocacy group.
Bitcoin is “inefficient” so Santander went with Ripple
Whelan joined Banco Santander’s Blockchain lab in 2016 and has been leading a team responsible for using blockchain in the financial industry.
It all started with Bitcoin as he said,
“I got inspired by Bitcoin in 2012 and started asking questions — how does it actually work? and went down the rabbit hole.”
But Bitcoin he says is “inefficient” as it validates transactions every 10 minutes. As such they are leveraging the tech developed by Ripple that settles payments across the XRP Ledger in 4 seconds. Whelan added,
“Instant transfers at a very very tight spread, 30 basis points, nice user experience. I used it myself, money to the United States, it’s available on the same day. Fantastic. At a guaranteed rate, even better.”
Apart from Santander, MoneyGram is also planning to expand its partnership with Ripple by utilizing its On-demand Liquidity, formerly known as xRapid that leverages digital asset XRP to settle transactions, in new corridors before 2019 is over.