Santander announced that it is in pilot phase with an app that, once launched, will allow its customers to transfer funds to other individuals in a handful of countries and utilize a foreign exchange service for Pounds, Euros and U.S. Dollars:
Santander is rolling out a staff pilot of an app which enables payments of £10 to £10,000 to appear in the recipient’s account the next working day.
It hopes to be able to expand the scheme to make it available to customers later this year
The countries involved in the pilot include Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and the United States.
In comparison to international remittance services offered through other providers, it’s rather limited. It’s strictly an account to account transfer and timing is next day or later, slower than many other services which can provide transfers in minutes in many use cases.
What is new here is the use of, you guess it, blockchain:
The app uses blockchain technology, which facilitates international payments. The blockchain network enables virtual currencies to pass through from sender to receiver. Santander said for banks, blockchain can enable the transfer of data in a faster and more accurate way.
The blockchain technology underpinning the app is provided by the company Ripple.
Santander said at present, timescales can vary for international transactions and some can take several days to go through.
I believe the bigger story here may be the use of the Apple Pay app and touch ID used to confirm transactions, an interesting extension of Apple’s security.
Overview by Sarah Grotta, Director, Debit Advisory Service at Mercator Advisory Group
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