Banco Santander has long been on the frontlines of blockchain adoption for global payments. In April of this year, the bank launched One Pay FX, the world’s first mobile application for cross-border payments powered by RippleNet.
The bank’s Head of Innovation Ed Metzger began his session at Swell 2018 with a bold statement, “We want to tell you about our journey with Ripple, and how we’ve used the technology to improve our customers’ lives.”
This is not a small feat for an international leader in banking, active in ten different markets and the largest financial institution in the Eurozone. As Metzger explained, the bank’s 140 million retail and commercial customers worldwide have new expectations for their international payments experience. Their retail customers, in particular, are looking for an experience that’s as personal, fast and reliable as other digital services today, such as two-way, instant messaging with anyone, anywhere, or booking a house on-demand across the world.
Metzger remarked, “We believe that financial services is moving to a world of open platforms where companies collaborate to deliver excellent customer service for their customers, and that’s at the core of what we’re doing with One Pay FX.”
When they piloted Ripple’s blockchain technology across a number of different markets, they were suddenly able to provide their customers with something they had never seen before: a new level of transparency, certainty and speed.
“One of our customers was in Italy on holiday and parked in the wrong place,” Metzger shared. “He needed to pay a fine and didn’t have his banking card. He was able to use the app to immediately pay the fine, and stop his car from being towed away.”
He continued, “It’s four or five clicks to do something that would have taken an awful, awful long time in the past.”
Metzger said that Banco Santander has plans to continue to roll out OnePay FX in more countries in the coming months. Today, the mobile application is available in the U.K. The service also provides on-demand international payments for customers in Spain, Brazil and Poland.
In regards to changes in consumer behavior, Metzger said they’re seeing early signs of much bigger changes. He remarked, “People don’t have to plan ahead. They can send an international payment when they need to. That’s really powerful.”
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