A major international bank; Spain’s Banco Santander SA (NYSE: SAN), is rolling out a Ripple App in four countries.
Santander customers would be able to make same-day international payments and peer-to-peer (P2P) transactions in Ripple (XRP) with the app, a Santander slideshow indicates. The app; which contains a digital wallet and personal finance manager, might debut in the United Kingdom, Spain, Brazil, and Poland in 1st Quarter 2018.
No specific countries are named in Santander press releases, but the flags of the countries listed above appear on the earnings-presentation slide describing the app. A specific date for roll out and details of beta-testing are not mentioned in the articles.
“We expect to be one of the first global banks to roll out a distributed ledger, technology-based payments for individuals,” the slideshow presentation states.
News stories and press releases did not say if Santander is planning a Ripple Visa or Master Card debit card. Such a card would be a logical next step if Visa (NYSE: V) or Master Card (NYSE: MA) would go along with it. News reports indicate that both companies have been trying to limit the use of cryptocurrency debit cards in recent months.
Santander taps Ripple xCurrent for Cross-Border payments
xCurrent is designed to instantly settle cross border transactions; while complying with anti-money laundering laws, by providing end-to-end tracking. It can also confirm payment details instantly to comply with banking regulations.
Santander has been using Ripple for cross-border payments in the UK since May 2016, a Ripple press release indicates. American Express (NYSE: AXP) and Santander began experimenting with cross-border payments between the US and the UK in November 2017, CNBC reported.
It is not clear if the Santander App will be integrated with the Amex experiment. Ripple and wire-transfer service MoneyGram International (NASDAQ: MGI) are testing currency transfers, Fortune reported. It is not clear if Santander will be part of that experiment either. News stories have not said if Santander or American Express is planning a Ripple Amex Cards. Such a card would be a logical next step.
From the news articles, it appears that the Santander app will be able to convert the Ripple (XRP) cryptocurrency into the pound, the Euro, and the Brazilian Real for brick and mortar transactions. That means some people might be able to buy MoneyGram money orders or make MoneyGram wire transfers with Ripple.
The Santander announcement is not helping Ripple’s value. Ripple’s Coin Price fell to 70.37¢ on 5 February 2018, according to our friends at Coin Market Cap. Ripple had a Market Capitalization of $27.449 billion and a Market Volume of $2.247 billion on the same day.
Apple Pay is in Brazil
Apple Pay is scheduled to debut in Brazil sometime this year CEO Tim Cook announced, Mac Rumors reported. Alphabet’s Google Pay (formerly Android Pay) has been available in Brazil since November 2017.
One has to wonder if Cook would even be talking about bringing Apple Pay to Brazil if Google Pay was not already there. Many details of the Apple Pay rollout in Brazil; including which banks will support it, are not available. It looks as if even Ripple is now beating Apple to the punch, once again calling Apple’s commitment to payments into question.
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Disclosure: I/we have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.