The San Francisco-based fintech startup, Ripple, announced on Friday that six global banks teamed up to establish the first interbank group that will develop the blockchain payments network for global transfers. The members include Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Royal Bank of Canada, Santander, UniCredit, Australian Westpac Banking Corporation, and Standard Chartered.
The group, called the Global Payments Steering Group (GPSG), will manage the launch and maintenance of the payment transaction rules, formalized standards for activity using Ripple, as well as other actions to support Ripple’s payment capabilities.
“Today, people expect money to move at the speed of the Internet,” said Ripple CEO Chris Larsen. “That’s why we’re working with these top banks to address the need for faster cross-border payments. The work of GPSG, a new global interbank network, will give financial institutions and their customers the ability to make new types of payments at mass scale.”
Julio Faura, Head of R&D at Santander, commented: “It’s time for banks to push on and move from discussing the potential benefits of blockchain, to making them a reality. As ever, the devil is in the details. We are joining the GPSG in order to contribute to the definition of the standards and processes which the industry now needs in order to move ahead and build better payments networks.”
The banks will work with Ripple to significantly reduce the cost of settlement and increase the speed of payments. With the establishment of GSPG, the banks will lay the foundation for a new blockchain payments network based on the Ripple’s technology and supported by rules for global settlement.
Gautam Jain, Global Head of Client Access at Standard Chartered said: “As a leading international bank committed to digitization, our involvement in this group is only natural. In addition to promoting the use of distributed ledger technology, we have been, and will continue to, drive standards and policies in order to create new value propositions for our clients and wider industry.”
The news about the new blockchain payments network follows Ripple’s recent announcement that it raised $55 million in Series B financing from major investors, including Standard Chartered, Accenture and SCB Digital Ventures, and SBI Holdings. The company expects that the new funding round will help to speed up customer adoption, enlarge global team and pursue strategic partnerships.
The previous Series A financing round finished in May 2015 and brought $93 million from IDG Capital Partners, Jerry Yang’s AME Cloud Ventures, and the venture arms of CME Group and Seagate Technology.
In June, Ripple expanded its global network by adding seven banks, such as UBS, Santander, UniCredit, ATB Financial, Reisebank, CIBC, and the National Bank of Abu Dhabi. Currently, the Ripple’s world network includes 12 of the globe’s top banks, with 10 banks being in commercial deal phases and over 30 bank pilots being completed.