American Express introduces blockchain-enabled cross-border business-to-business payments

American Express today announced the introduction of blockchain-enabled, business-to-business cross-border payments. The American Express® FX International Payments (FXIP) business is working with Ripple, provider of enterprise global blockchain solutions, to make blockchain payments commercially available, reducing the time and cost of settlement, while maintaining the level of security that American Express customers know and expect. Santander UK is the selected partner to initiate this exciting new transaction channel, which has the potential to expand substantially over time.

“American Express has a long history of integrating new technologies into innovative products and services that differentiate and enhance the customer experience,” said Marc Gordon, Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer at American Express. “This collaboration with Ripple and Santander represents the next step forward on our blockchain journey, evolving the way we move money around the world.”

With the integration of Ripple into the American Express FXIP platform, non-card payments can be routed through Ripple’s real-time payment network, known as RippleNet. 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.

“We’ve already seen evidence that blockchain technology is playing a transformational role in the way customers are served,” said Greg Keeley, Executive Vice President of Global Corporate Payments at American Express. “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.”

José Luis Calderón, Global Head of Santander Global Transaction Banking, said,We are committed to creating a leading international payment eco-system meeting the needs of companies and customers worldwide. This blockchain solution opens up a new channel between the U.S. and the UK and presents significant opportunity for payments globally. Collaborating with forward-thinking businesses has enabled us to deliver this cutting-edge, secure, friction-free payment solution and extend our Simple, Personal, Fair philosophy to American Express and their customers.”

Initially, Ripple will 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.

“We’re taking a huge step forward with American Express and Santander in solving the problems corporate customers experience with global payments,” said Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple. “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.”