Banco Santander has announced the launch of a new international payments service using blockchain-based technology.
The service is available to retail customers in Spain, UK, Brazil and Poland, and will be rolled out across more countries in the coming months, the bank says.
The new service, known as ‘Santander One Pay FX’, makes it possible for customers to complete international transfers on the same day in many cases or by the next day. The service also shows them the exact amount that will be received in the destination currency before they make the transfer.
The Bank says it will add more features in the coming months, including offering instant international payments in several markets before the summer, making it significantly faster than existing international payment services.
With the launch of the service, Santander claims it will become the first bank to roll out a blockchain-based international payments service to retail customers in multiple countries simultaneously.
“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,” says Ana Botín, executive chairman of Banco Santander.
The new service uses xCurrent, a technology based on distributed ledgers owned by California-based Ripple. InnoVentures, Santander’s $200 million fintech venture capital fund, invested in Ripple in 2015. In total the fund has made over 20 investments in a range of financial technology start ups focused on artificial intelligence, big data, blockchain, payments, financial advisory, SME and automobile finance or mortgages.