Santander announced today that it is the first bank to employ blockchain technology for international payments. The service is currently being tested by its employees, and should be released for everyone else 'at a later date'.
The blockchain technology has been developed by Ripple, a company Santander has invested in. This technology will be introduced to a mobile app, which connects to Apple Pay. That way, users can confirm payments using Apple's Touch ID system.
Santander also said payments between £10 and £10,000 can be made, and it will only take a day for the funds to appear in international payments.
Payments can be made from GBP to EUR and USD, although with some limitations. Payments in Euros can be sent to 21 countries, while payments in USD can be sent to USA only.
“The need for finance has evolved from providing a physical Pound in your pocket or card in your purse, where you pay at a till, to being seamlessly integrated into a new, always on, connected lifestyle,” said Sigga Sigurdardottir, Head of Customer and Innovation at Santander.
“At Santander we work hard to ensure our banking is simple, personal and fair and believe new Blockchain technology will play a transformational role in the way we achieve our goals and better serve our customers, adding value by creating more choice and convenience.”
Blockchain is a new technology that allows for a more decentralised and transparent money transfer, but also has other uses. It is often confused with Bitcoin, as the cryptocurrency works on that exact principle.
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