Banking digitalization keeps going as few days ago Banco Santander launched the first blockchain-based cross-border payment service for retail customers.
Ana Botín Executive Chairman of Banco Santander stated in a press release that:
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.
The new service initially to customers in Spain, the UK, Brazil and Poland so that customers in Spain, for example, will be able to send dollars to USA and pounds to UK. Customers in the UK will be able to send euros to 21 countries and dollars to USA, and from Brazil and Poland, pounds can be sent to the UK.
The new service uses xCurrent, a technology based on distributed ledgers owned by California-based Ripple. InnoVentures, Santander’s $200 million fintech venture capital fund, invested in Ripple in 2015.
Just less than a year ago, interviewed by consultancy 11:FS (embedded below), Nathan Bostock, CEO of Santander UK talked about the interaction between banks and fintechs:
Banks have to rethink their world, which is end to end, and the way we’ve used partners, and I think it’s interesting, because in fintech we’ve gone through that thing where banks were the old luddites Neanderthals, and fintechs were fantastically, new and modern, but actually, there’s a symbiotic world.
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