Last week the largest bank in the Eurozone by market capitalization, Santander, announced it had launched a new app to facilitate live international payments. While payments may not be super exciting (it is a big business though) the method as to how Santander is facilitating the transfers is. Santander is now the first bank in the UK to leverage Blockchain for international payments.
Making international transfers will now only take a single day, according to the bank. The App allows payments from £10 to £10,000. Currencies available at the start include USD, EUR and GBP. USD payments are only available in the US – for now. The app is unfortunately only available as a “staff pilot” but a wider release is expected soon.
The App uses core tech provided by Ripple a Fintech company that Santander Innoventures owns a stake. Santander representative Sigga Sigurdardottir said the new App was part of the banks push to keep banking simple. They believe Blockchain tech is “transformational.”
As far as traditional banks go, Santander has been more inclined to innovate and try new approaches. In 2014, Santander launched a $100 million fund to “get closer to the wave of disruptive innovation in the Fintech space.” Santander is not a passive investor and they do fund seed-stage ventures.