Amex launches blockchain corporate payments for US-UK
American Express has introduced instant blockchain-based payments using Ripple, a fintech startup, for US corporate customers sending funds to UK-based businesses that bank with Santander UK.
American Express said its FX International Payments (FXIP) business had partnered with Ripple to provide real-time, trackable non-card payments from the United States to Britain. Customers are already using the service, the companies said, and it would be extended in the future.
This marks one of the first major uses of blockchain, a shared database of transactions maintained by a network of computers on the internet that is best known as the system underpinning bitcoin.
Financial firms hope the technology can reduce the cost and complexity of burdensome processes such as securities settlement and international payments, but many say widespread use of the technology is still several years away.
"American Express has a long history of integrating new technologies...," said American Express's chief information officer Marc Gordon, in a statement.
San Francisco-based Ripple, whose main focus is blockchain-based cross-border payments, is backed by companies including Standard Chartered, Accenture and SBI Holdings. (Reuters)