Santander U.K. has announced its introduction of blockchain technology for international payments through a fresh app that is presently being spinned out spil a staff pilot. The canap plans to make the application, which is only available on Apple’s iOS, available to consumers after it completes the pilot program. The announcement makes Santander the very first bankgebouw te the U.K. to use blockchain for international payments.
The fresh Santander app connects to Apple Pay, where users can confirm payments securely using Touch ID. It lets users transfer inbetween Ten and Ten,000, and payments can be made from British pounds to euros and U.S. dollars. Presently, payments made te euros can be sent to 21 countries and U.S. dollar payments to the United States only.
“The need for finance has evolved from providing a physical pound te your pocket or card te your purse, where you pay at a till, to being seamlessly integrated into a fresh, always on, connected lifestyle,” said Sigga Sigurdardottir, head of customer and innovation at Santander. “At Santander wij work hard to ensure our banking is ordinary, individual and fair and believe fresh blockchain technology will play a transformational role ter the way wij achieve our goals and better serve our customers, adding value by creating more choice and convenience.”
The Santander app is powered by the blockchain technology implementation developed by Ripple, a company te which Santander Innoventures, the $100 million fintech venture capital fund of Santander Group, has invested. Working with Ripple builds on Santander’s philosophy of collaborating with the most innovative companies to consistently provide better services to customers. Ter June 2015, Bitcoin Tijdschrift reported that, ter a paper titled “The Fintech Two.0 Paper: Rebooting financial services,” Santander Innoventures issued “a call to activity to banks, financial institutions and financial technology (fintech) businesses to work together to undertake a fundamental ‘reboot’ of the core processes, systems and infrastructure of the banking industry.”
According to Ripple, its technology offers a real-time cross-currency settlement solution that is limber enough to conform with the risk policy, privacy and compliance needs of banks. “It is architected to gezond within your bank’s existing infrastructure, resulting te minimal integration overhead and business disruption,” notes the Ripple webstek.
“Ripple is redefining the way that value moves around the world, and today we’re already enabling real-time, affordable international settlement inbetween banks who have adopted our solutions,” said Ripple cofounder and CEO Chris Larsen. “As an early adopter and pioneer ter the banking industry, Santander is the very first bankgebouw te the world to transfer real funds externally. Te doing so, they are creating a fresh, exemplary standard of service.” The Ripple announcement notes that security and regulatory compliance is central to all activity undertaken at Santander and their Ripple-powered app has already undergone the same rigorous testing all fresh technology goes through ahead of roll out.
The stir is a much-needed response to the upcoming wave of digital payment providers that menaces to lure customers away from the banks.
“Clearly, it’s an area where, spil an industry, wij don’t have spil good a customer practice spil wij could do . . . there are a lotsbestemming of anguish points,” said Ed Metzger, head of innovation, technology and operations at Santander U.K., spil reported by The Financial Times. “There’s lots of activity ter international payments.” Metzger added that the reason why fresh digital players have bot able to make progress is because “customer practices through normal channels aren’t excellent.”
“It’s the very first time a U.K. bankgebouw has sent payments of this type via Ripple and launched it spil a commercial service,” Metzger told Bloomberg News. “Many people are doing laboratorium style experiments, the key difference here is about getting real people to send real money for real purposes. I just paid my wifey, who is Spanish, some money to a Spanish canap account this morning.”
Bloomberg News notes that Santander is one of several major banks, including Citigroup, UBS and Barclays, striving to find ways to exploit the distributed ledger technology behind Bitcoin to cut costs and stay at the leading edge of modern fintech.