Santander's UK CEO Nathan Bostock confirmed that it is on track to launch an international money transfer app in partnership with fintech startup Ripple in the next few months.
As reported in February, Santander has been piloting the app for 18 months with its employees, integrating Apple Pay for payments between $14 and $14,000 according to Finextra. According to the company's 2017 earnings presentation, a roll out in Spain, Brazil, the U.K. and Poland was projected and it looks like it will finally come to fruition.
Nathan Bostock told the International Fintech conference in London on Friday:
“This spring, if not one beats us to it, we will be the first large retail bank to carry out cross-border payments at scale with blockchain technology.”
Customers will be able to use the app to facilitate same-day cross-border payments in under a minute, according to the presentation. The app will also provide a digital wallet, a personal finance manager and help aid person-to-person payments using Ripple's xCurrent technology.
Santander said when it launches it's internal app trial using Ripple’s technology, it will allow transfers to be settled within 24 hours, compared to days with traditional cross-border payment providers.
Ripple's Chief Executive Brad Garlinghouse announced the move to his followers on Twitter, noting that the app will be released this quarter.
After a successful pilot, @santanderuk is rolling out its @Ripple-powered mobile app to customers this quarter, letting them send money internationally in seconds, with just a few clicks. https://t.co/nezn3GxA9r
— Brad Garlinghouse (@bgarlinghouse) February 2, 2018
Besides the lightning fast payments, the tech will allow people find out how much a transfer will cost. Currently, international transfer systems use various middle men to transfer money who will take cuts along the way so the final sum is often less or more than when it was sent. Because of the convoluted process, processors can’t give an accurate estimate of the total cost.
Ripple, founded in 2012, is a San Francisco-headquartered company trying to bring blockchain and cryptocurrency solutions to the global payments and transfer market. MoneyGram and Western Union are trialing its liquidity solution xRapid while global transfer businesses such as UAE Exchange use its international transfer platform xCurrent.
Santander already invested in Ripple technology in 2015 and 2016. In 2016, the bank implemented a trial of an international app by using Ripple technology.
The Santander Group is a group of global retail and commercial banks with over 102 million customers and over 14,000 branches – more than any other bank in the world. Santander is one of the top five financial brands in the world.