Santander is rolling out a cross-border payments system powered by blockchain technology, becoming the first multinational bank to do so. The Spanish lender has leveraged distributed ledger technology (DLT) to create the One Pay FX system, which will become accessible for clients in Spain, the UK, Poland, and Brazil as of Friday.
One Pay utilizes the xCurrent technology from Ripple. Thanks to the new system, which was developed in about two years, customers will see their transfers processed in less than 24 hours instead of several days. They will also be able to see the exact amount of funds that reach their destination before even making the transfer.
Santander executive chairman Ana Botín told the Financial Times the company aimed to promote its system as a standalone application that would be used by clients at other banks.
The four countries where One Pay is launched will cover about 50% of the annual foreign exchange transfers by individual clients, and Santander wants to expand its system to other countries as well. The bank also wants to move to small businesses within the next months, Botín said.
“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,” she added.
After the launch, each of the four countries will provide clients with different transfer solutions in line with market demand. For instance, Spanish clients may use the service to send US dollars and pounds to the UK, British clients will be able to send US dollars to the USA and euros to 21 countries, while customers from Poland and Brazil can send pounds to the UK.
“Transfers to Europe can be made on the same day, and we are aiming to deliver instant transfers across several markets by the summer,” Botin stated.
“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,” she added.
On a side note, Santander is part of Spanish blockchain consortium Alastria, which is backed by the local government.