On Thursday, American Express (NYSE: AXP) announced the introduction of blockchain-enabled, business-to-business cross-border payments. The American Express FX International Payments (FXIP) business is working with fintech startup Ripple to reduce the time and cost of the settlement while maintaining the level of security that American Express customers know and expect. Santander UK has been named the selected partner to initiate the new transaction channel, which has the potential to expand substantially over time.
American Express revealed with the integration of Ripple into its FXIP platform, non-card payments can be routed through Ripple’s real-time payment network, RippleNet. The credit card giant reported that compared with traditional payment processes, blockchain-enabled payments improve international transactions by simplifying connections with intermediaries and providing immediate end-to-end visibility into the transaction status and cost.
While sharing more details about the transaction channel, Marc Gordon, Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer at American Express, stated:
“American Express has a long history of integrating new technologies into innovative products and services that differentiate and enhance the customer experience. This collaboration with Ripple and Santander represents the next step forward on our blockchain journey, evolving the way we move money around the world.”
Greg Keeley, Executive Vice President of Global Corporate Payments at American Express, also commented:
“We’ve already seen evidence that blockchain technology is playing a transformational role in the way customers are served. Not only does this partnership with Ripple help decrease the time it takes for international transactions to be processed, it can make our transactions more effective for our customers.”
Ripple went on to explain that it will initially connect American Express’ customers to Santander in the UK, providing instant, trackable, cross-border payments. RippleNet is helping remittances from American Express customers in the U.S. to reach UK bank accounts faster than ever before through Santander. Moreover, Ripple’s payments network has the capability to allow American Express to connect with customers across the globe. Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple, then added:
“We’re taking a huge step forward with American Express and Santander in solving the problems corporate customers experience with global payments. Transfers that used to take days will be completed in real-time, allowing money to move as fast as business today. It is just the beginning, and we look forward to growing this partnership to help other American Express FXIP customers.”