Banco Santander released an international payments service using blockchain-based technology. Initially, the service is available to retail customers in four jurisdictions: Spain, UK, Brazil, and Poland. Santander One Pay FX enables same-day international payments though in some cases it is next day.
Transfers to Europe arrive the same day which compares to SEPA payments which complete next day at best. The bank plans to roll out the service to more markets and add additional features including instant international transfers.
Ana Botín, Executive Chairman of Banco Santander, said: “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.”
“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”.
The functionality is not limited to Euros and what’s available depends on the location. For example, customers in the UK can send Euros to 21 countries and dollars to the USA. Customers in Spain can send dollars to the USA and pounds to the UK. Polish customers can send pounds to the UK.
Santander is the first major bank to launch a blockchain international payment service. This pitches the bank against startups such as ‘unicorn’ TransferWise and smaller players like Transfergo. Those services currently serve many more jurisdictions, but Santander will be expanding theirs.
One Pay FX uses xCurrent, a technology from Ripple in which Santander invested $4m in 2015 via its InnoVentures fund. The $200m fund also provided capital to Elliptic, a blockchain intelligence and monitoring company.