Santander is set to launch an international money transfer app with Ripple

Leon Neal / AFP / Getty ImagesShoppers pass a branch of the newly-branded Santander bank on Oxford Street, in central London.

  • Santander UK CEO: “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.”
  • Consumer app in partnership with Ripple set to be launched to customers in Spain, Brazil, UK, and Poland.

LONDON – Santander is on track to launch an international money transfer app in partnership with fintech startup Ripple in the next few months, the bank’s UK CEO has confirmed.

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.”

Bostock name-checked partner Ripple, the fintech company which specialises in cross-border payments through its blockchain-based xCurrent and RippleNet products. He did not give a specific date for launch of the new product.

A spokesperson for Santander declined to comment when Business Insider inquired about Bostock’s comments.

Santander invested in US-headquartered Ripple in 2015 and then again in 2016. The bank also trialled an international payments app using Ripple technology with its staff in 2016.

Santander CEO Ana Botin flagged the upcoming launch to customers of the payment app in the group’s 2017 results presentation at the end of January, saying the new app would go live in Spain, Brazil, the UK, and Poland.

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Santander said when it launched its internal app trial that Ripple’s technology allows transfers to be settled within 24 hours, compared to days with traditional cross-border payment providers.

The tech also lets people find out up front how much a transfer will cost. Most international transfer systems use various middle men to transfer money who will take cuts along the way so the final sum is often less than when it was sent. Because of the covulted process, most 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.

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