Ripple, Santander Join Forces To Launch International Money Transfer App

  • Spanish banking giant Santander is set to launch an international payments app with Ripple's technology
  • The app will allow for same-day cross-border payments, and will be available in Spain, Poland, Brazil, and the UK.
  • It's set to rely solely on Ripple's xCurent and RippleNet.

Spanish banking giant Santander is going to launch an international money transfer app in the next few months thanks to a partnership with fintech startup Ripple, according to Business Insider. The app will reportedly rely solely on Ripple’s xCurrent and RippleNet.

Speaking at the International Fintech conference in London, the bank’s UK CEO, Nathan Bostock said:

“This spring, if not one [sic] beats us to it, we will be the first large retail bank to carry out cross-border payments at scale with blockchain technology.”

Nathan Bostock

Bostock didn’t reveal when the blockchain-based app would be launched, and a Santander spokesperson refused to comment the development when contacted. Back in  January, Santander CEO Ana Botin revealed the payments app was coming in the group’s 2017 results presentation.

It will be available in Spain, Brazil, Poland, and in the UK. At the time she revealed it’s set to integrate Apply Pay for payments between £10 and £10,000 ($14 and $14,000). The app’s goal will be to enable same-day international payments in about 40 seconds. It’s set to provide users with a digital wallet and a personal finance manager, while facilitating peer-to-peer payments.

 

SantanderSantander

 

Santander has notably invested in Ripple in 2015, and again in 2016. Reports claiming the bank has been trailing Ripple’s technology for an international payments app with its staff have been around since 2016.

The payment app’s users are set to not only see their international payments get settled in under 24 hours, they’ll also find out up front how much a transfer will cost them. Traditionally, international transfers use various meddle men who take their cut, meaning the final sum is almost always less than what was sent.

This year Ripple has been securing several partnerships. It partnered with MoneyGram to speed up fiat currency settlements, and with a consortium of 61 Japanese banks to create an instant payments app. The fintech startup further partnered with a South Korean bank for “commercial” cross-border remittances.

Ripple’s XRP token is, at press time, trading at $0.64, as it is up 1.86 percent in the last 24-hour period. XRP is currently the world’s third largest cryptocurrency by market cap, with a total value of $24.5 billion.

                                                                                                    

BBC: Facebook Planning to Launch ‘GlobalCoin’ in Q1 2020

Siamak Masnavi

Social networking giant Facebook is planning to launch its own cryptocurrency (internally dubbed "GlobalCoin") and crypto-powered global payments network (internally called "Project Libra") worldwide by Q1 2020, according to a report published earlier today by BBC News, the world's largest broadcast news organization.

Project Libra's Origin Story

  • 8 May 2018: In a post on Facebook, David Marcus, the former head of Messenger, who was at that time also a board member (since December 2017) of crypto exchange Coinbase, revealed that he was leaving that role to set up a new group focused on exploring applications of blockchain technology across the whole of Facebook.
  • 13 December 2018: Cheddar reported that Facebook’s blockchain group is planning to "potentially disrupt the entire payments industry":

"At a private dinner Facebook hosted during a recent crypto conference, one attendee told Cheddar that Facebook employees pitched the idea of creating a decentralized digital currency for the social network’s 2 billion users."

  • 21 December 2018: Bloomberg reported that Facebook was creating its own cryptocurrency (a stablecoin) for money transfers within its highly popular messaging app WhatsApp.
  • 28 February 2019: The New York Times confirmed Bloomberg's earlier story, and said that, according to its sources, this project was "far enough along that the social networking giant has held conversations with cryptocurrency exchanges about selling the Facebook coin to consumers."
  • 8 April 2019: Nathaniel Popper, one of the two journalists who wrote the report in the New York Times, provided this update (on Twitter) about Facebook's cryptocurrency project:
  • 2 May 2019: The Wall Street Journal reported that Facebook was "recruiting dozens of financial firms and online merchants to help launch a cryptocurrency-based payments system," and that the core part of this initiative (code-named "Project Libra") is "a digital coin that its users could send to each other and use to make purchases both on Facebook and across the internet." Furthermore, this report said that, according to people familiar, Facebook was talking to "financial institutions including Visa Inc., Mastercard Inc. and payment processor First Data Corp." about investing in this project.
  • 17 May 2019: A report by Reuters said that FinTech company Libra Network was registered in the Republic and Canton of Geneva on May 2. Looking at the entry for Libra Networks, which was published on May 7 in the Swiss Official Gazettte of Commerce (SOGC), tells us:
    • Libra Networks LLC (registration number: CHE193533388) has its registered office in Geneva.
    • According to the English translation, the stated purpose of this company is "provision of services in the fields of finance and technology, as well as the development and production of related software and infrastructure, particularly in connection with investment activities, the payment operation, the financing, identity management, data analysis, big data, blockchain and other technologies."
    • The share capital is CHF 20,000 (100 shares, each with a nominal value of CHF 200); all of the shares are owned by Facebook Global Holdings II, LLC.

Facebook's Stablecoin: GlobalCoin

Here is what we have learnt from the BBC News report:

  • Facebook "is planning to set up a digital payments system in about a dozen countries by the first quarter of 2020."
  • The plan is to start testing the new cryptocurrency (some kind of stablecoin), GlobalCoin, by the end of 2019.
  • Facebook has been getting "advice on operational and regulatory issues" from the UK's central bank governor Mark Carney (whom Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg reportedly met in April) and from U.S. Treasury officials.
  • Facebook is also in talks with global remittance firms such as Western Union "as it looks for cheaper and faster ways for people without a bank account to send and receive money."

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