Santander Outperforming Competition Thanks To Ripple

The banking giant Santander has said that its Ripple powered payments app OnePay FX is providing its customers with the possibility to send cross-border transactions at much faster speeds than the competition.

Back at the Santander International Banking Conference in Spain, the executive chairman Ana Botin highlighted the performance of the new mobile payments app which will run on Ripple’s blockchain software solution xCurrent.

“You can do FX transfers, real-time, between the UK and continental Europe. And you can actually do Poland, Brazil and Chile – through Santander – for the same cost as Transferwise… and that is the reason why we need to really think about what is real reciprocity. The devil is in the details and the timing.”

In contrast, the instant payments that are processed by TransferWise are only delivered within the UK through the instant FPS payment system. According to a representative from the company, the payment delivery in other places around Europe and around the world isn’t as fast. Both Santander and TransferWise are playing a key role in transforming the classic pace of worldwide payments which have long taken two to three days to complete through conventional cross-border channels.

It was back in April when OnePay FX was launched by Santander which gave millions of customers in Europe access to real-time cross border payments. According to the Daily Hodl, Botin said that the technology is currently powering 50 percent of Santander Group’s FX payments.

“With this new initiative that is already in place, we’re actually covering 50% of all the FX payments that the Santander Group does annually. and it works really well, because the rails that we’re using – which, as you say, we’ve collaborated with Ripple – we’ve been testing those for two years, actually with our own employees. And it works. It’s safe. It’s fully compliant, and obviously, we’ve made sure we comply with all local regulations. So you’re in safe hands.”

In the end, though, the chairman has said that the banking giant is looking to stretch out the companies operations including OnePay FX and providing the choice for the non-banking customers to use the app to send money across the globe.


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Author: Robert Johnson
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This is how and why Ripple’s XRP tokens will be used by the banks

The controversy around Ripple and their centralization, premined coins and influence of banks aside, Ripple Labs is all about improving the speed and cost of cross-border payments.

It seems that Ripple’s broader XRP strategy is to generate demand for rapid settlement. Ripple is positioning XRP as the rapid settlement technology to go with those rapid payment systems. All of their payment technology is designed to settle with XRP.

The beginner Ripple product gets banks’ feet wet – with xCurrent and xVia where they don’t have to use XRP. Once there it is easy to gravitate to the next gear, the next product – xRapid. Like an extra gear on the car you already know. It is inevitable.

xRapid is the only Ripple product that uses XRP. Other offerings such as xVia and xCurrent are systems that currently do not require/utilize XRP.

In other words, if the 100 banks you have signed up have no interest in xRapid, there will be no change to the price of XRP.

With xRapid Ripple aims to eliminate delays in global payments while also dramatically lowering cost. xRapid leverages the technology behind the digital asset XRP, to make cross-border payments truly instant.

Some aggregated results from several pilots of xRapid indicate this Ripple net has a bright future ahead to the joy of XRP holders.

For payments in the critical remittance corridor between the U.S. and Mexico, financial institutions using xRapid saw a savings of 40-70 percent compared to what they normally pay foreign exchange brokers. An average xRapid payment took just over two minutes, compared to today’s average of two to three days when sending cross-border payments. The portion of the transfer that relies on the XRP Ledger takes two to three seconds, with the additional processing time attributed to movement across the intermediary digital asset exchanges and local payment rails.

A payment journey with xRapid looks like this: a financial institution connects directly to digital asset exchanges in both the originating and destination corridors. The originating currency is exchanged into XRP which provides the necessary liquidity to power the final payment, and then in seconds that XRP is exchanged into the destination currency in the second digital asset exchange. Once this transaction takes place, the funds are sent out on the local rails of the destination country for payout. The transaction is tracked end-to-end, and the result is a cross-border payment that is cheaper and faster than ever before.


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Author: Torsten Hartmann
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Ripple vs SWIFT: Brad Garlinghouse Feels Good About Ripple’s Chances of ‘Taking Over’ As Global Leader in Cross Border

In a recent interview with Bloomberg, Ripple CEO, Brad Garlinghouse, denied the rumors about Ripple partnering with SWIFT: “I think what we’re doing and executing on a day-by-day basis is, in fact, taking over SWIFT.”

Some Background Information About SWIFT

On its website, the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), a co-operative which was founded in 1973 and is headquartered in Belgium, describes itself as “a global member-owned cooperative and the world’s leading provider of secure financial messaging services,” and says that its “messaging platform, products and services connect more than 11,000 banking and securities organisations, market infrastructures and corporate customers in more than 200 countries and territories.”

On 10 December 2015, probably as a response to the growing threat from Californian Fintech startup Ripple, SWIFT announced a global payments innovation (gpi) initiative to “dramatically improve the customer experience in correspondent banking by increasing the speed, transparency and predictability of cross-border payments.” At the time, it said that gpi would enable corporates to “receive an enhanced payments service directly from their banks” with these features:

  • “Same day use of funds”
  • “Transparency and predictability of fees”
  • “End-to-end payments tracking”
  • “Transfer of rich payment information”

SWIFT said that the pilot for the gpi initiative would start in early 2016.

Currently, SWIFT claims that the benefits for banks and corporates that adopt gpi are as follows:

  • Fast payments (“Credit international beneficiaries in seconds and, at most, minutes”)
  • End-to-end tracking (“Track payments end-to-end in real-time”)
  • Fee and FX transparency (“See bank fees charged and FX rates applied”)
  • Unaltered remittance information (“Ensure remittance data is unchanged when payment arrives”)
  • Reduced Costs (“Benefit from reduced enquiry costs due to ability to track payments”)
  • Optimised liquidity (“Make the most of your liquidity through greater payments visibility”)
  • Ease of implementation (“Use your existing SWIFT setup and go live within three months”)
  • Confirmed credit (“Receive a credit confirmation message when your beneficiary has been paid”)

SWIFT also is reporting the following numbers for gpi:

  • “USD 100 billion+ are being sent every day using SWIFT gpi”
  • “gpi payments are being sent over 220 international country corridors”
  • “Banks’ enquires are reduced by as much as 50% as gpi payments are faster and fully traceable”
  • “Nearly 50% of SWIFT gpi payments are credited to end beneficiaries in less than 30 minutes”
  • “55+ payment market infrastructures are already exchanging gpi payments, enabling domestic exchange and tracking”

One number that it is not so easy to find on its website is the number of member banks that are currently using gpi; as of November 2018, this number is believed to be under 200.

According to a report in The Global Treasurer, one of the key takeaways from the SIBOS 2017 conference in Toronto was that corporates “do not want to pay excessively for access to SWIFT gpi.”

What Ripple Thinks About SWIFT

Ripple is not a big fan of SWIFT in general.

According to a report published on 26 March 2018 in The Global Treasuer, Marcus Treacher, Senior Vice President of Customer Success at Ripple, told them:

“SWIFT doesn’t really compete [with Ripple] in our view. SWIFT gpi has been around for a long time and it is making the SWIFT process a little less painful by adding more messaging and control into a 20th-century model… We are thinking about how money moves in a very different way. We are creating an internet of value… SWIFT gpi will improve things a little bit but it won’t really match the speed, efficiency and visibility that we create with the Ripple network, so we don’t look at them as a serious long-term competitor.”

As covered by CryptoGlobe, on 14 June 2018, Ripple’s Chief Market Strategist, Cory Johnson, in an interview with Yahoo Finance (as part of the “Yahoo Finance All Markets Summit: Crypto”), had this to say about SWIFT:

“Our competition is this banking consortium that came together in 1973… It’s called SWIFT… You know what it isn’t? It is not ‘swift’! It takes 3-5 days to move money… It’s one-dimensional messaging… It has about a 4% error rate… You send a message to move money, and then you wait, and maybe you get something back… It’s more akin to a homing pigeon than a text message or email.”

According to a report in Global Trade Review (GTR), later that month (on June 27th), Emi Yoshikawa, Ripple’s Director of Joint Venture Partnership, while speaking at an event in Hong Kong (EmTech Hong Kong), said that “the innovation cannot compete with the fintech company’s ‘near real-time’ settlements”:

“Swift was built 40 or 50 years ago, before the internet was created. So their architecture is very old. They realise that this is a big problem and they consider us a big competitor. They’re also trying to make a big improvement based on the existing architecture, called Swift gpi. We consider it just a marginal improvement of their existing architecture,”

Rumors About Ripple and SWIFT

On 6 November 2018, Finance Magnates reported that XRP fans were “excited by speculation that a competitor could soon be a partner,” and that this “appears to have been driven at least partially by a popular rumour on the internet – that an upcoming upgrade on the SWIFT network will make Ripple products available to around 4,000 extra banks.” However, Finance Magnates was told by a SWIFT spokesperson that these rumors were false:

“I’m not sure where those rumours are coming from but the upcoming standards release … is entirely unrelated to RippleNet. Its primary purpose is to ensure all payments include a tracking reference (UETR, Unique End-to-end Transaction Reference) which will allow banks to track their gpi payments end-to-end in real time.”

Ripple CEO’s Interview With Bloomberg

During the interview with Bloomberg, Brad Garlinghouse, the CEO of Ripple, was asked if “there is a possibility that Ripple could take over SWIFT one day.” He replied:

“Well, I think what we’re doing and executing on a day-by-day basis is, in fact, taking over SWIFT, in that we’ve now signed well over 100 banks, some of the largest SWIFT-enabled banks in the world are now using Ripple’s technology. Just last week, we saw a remittance company, who is using Ripple’s technology, they reduced the price per transaction to their customers from $20 per transaction to $2 per transaction, and they saw an 800% increase in usage overnight. That’s the type of dynamic that SWIFT isn’t able to support that we’re able to address right now.”


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Author: Siamak Masnavi
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RippleNet’s ‘Multi-Hop’ Feature To Ease Cross-Border Transactions In S. East Asia

In traditional banking, for there to be a cross-border payment, two banks had to be directly connected on a one-on-one basis. The situation in the Association of South Eastern Asian Nations (ASEAN) was exactly this way up until the Siam Commercial Bank (SCM) –  a member of RippleNet – became the first financial institution in the region to explore a new feature on the network known as ‘Multi-hop’. Using this feature, SCM will be able to act as an efficient go-between by receiving and forwarding payment transactions for institutions in the region that are not directly connected.

The team at Ripple goes on to explain the process as follows:

With multi-hop, financial institutions can connect directly to SCB, which can settle and payout across the region without exchanging currencies multiple times and adding heavy fees. The result is a seamless payments experience into and out of the ASEAN region.

This new feature is particularly efficient given that financial institutions in the region had to first convert their local currency into USD then settle across numerous connecting banks before the funds reached the intended receiving financial institution.

The new efficiency bought about by the ‘Multi-hop’ feature will make payments easier regardless of the size of the payment or the liquidity of the financial institution sending or receiving the funds. This is primarily beneficial for Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) who are responsible for 60% – 70% of employment in the developing world which includes countries in ASEAN.

RippleNet Showcased as Sole Payment Solution on Ripple.com

The recently updated Ripple website has showcased RippleNet as the sole payment solution for global banks and remittance service providers. The new website no longer has Ripple’s other products of xCurrent, xVia and xRapid.

Some XRP fans have postulated that RippleNet is the famous ‘Convergence’ solution that was to integrate all the above 3 products into one seamless payment solution.

With the Swell event less than 48 hours away, the members of the crypto community are anxious to find out what will be announced during the exciting two day event.


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Author: John P. Njui
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