AmEx Intros Blockchain-Enabled Cross-Border B2B Payments

Andrew Cummings
November 17, 2017

American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success.

For those unfamiliar with blockchain technology, it can be described in simple terms as a secure method for electronically transferring money or files using decentralized, distributed computers that record the path of each transaction as it moves along, block-to-block, until it reaches its intended destination.

AmEx Intros Blockchain-Enabled Cross-Border B2B Payments

Using the method, non-card payments are routed through Ripple's network, which operates in real time, simplifies intermediary connections, and provides end-to-end visibility for increased transparency, according to the press release.

Blockchain-enabled payments improve global transactions by simplifying connections with intermediaries and providing immediate end-to-end visibility into the transaction status and cost.

The move, lauded by Greg Keeley, EVP of Global Corporate Payments at American Express, is expected to improve transaction processing times while maintaining the required security levels.

The technology has been there for quite some time, and there were a lot of banks looking into blockchain technology, but none of them were ready to take it mainstream.

The first step involves American Express FX International Payments (FXIP) utilizing RippleNet for corporate transactions from the United States to the UK, where FXIP will be partnering up with Santander UK. American Express' move to facilitate transactions using blockchain technology will be a major validation of the technology, and a watershed moment in blockchain's history.

"This blockchain solution opens up a new channel between the US and the United Kingdom and presents significant opportunity for payments globally", Jose Luis Calderon, global head of global transaction banking at Santander, said in a statement Thursday. American Express can now connect with customers across the globe through Ripple's payments network.

American Express' blockchain project will initially allow customers in the connect instant, traceable cross-border non-card payments to U.K. Santander bank accounts. "It is just the beginning", CEO of Ripple Brad Garlinghouse said.

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