American Express Deepens Ties With Ripple, Confirms Using Its xCurrent Blockchain Solution

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by Bhushan Akolkar · 3 min read
American Express Deepens Ties With Ripple, Confirms Using Its xCurrent Blockchain Solution
Ripple and American Express executives at Money 20/20 event. Photo: Ripple/Twitter

American Express will integrate Ripple’s xCurrent solution allowing its cardholders to perform instant cross-border transactions and settlements.

Payments giant American Express is seen taking further leaps towards the adoption of blockchain solutions and in one of the latest announcements, AmEx Vice President Colin O’Flaherty on Wednesday, June 6, confirmed that the company will be using Ripple’s xCurrent blockchain-based financial solution as a part of improving its payments services.

While speaking at the Money 20/20 event held between 4th to 6th June, O’Flaherty said: “Ripple offers instantaneous, point-to-point conversations between the sender and receiver of funds. And that provides a real opportunity to alleviate most of the issues our customers are facing.”

Last year in November 2017, American Express along with the Santander Bank entered into a partnership with Ripple in order to advance their blockchain solutions in order to establish secure, high-speed cross-border payments between US and UK. As a part of the agreement, payments made through the American Express’ FX International Payments (FXIP) platform were routed through RippleNet which is the company’s enterprise blockchain solution.

Now the integration of Ripple’s xCurrent solution to the American Express payments infrastructure will allow to instantly settle the cross-border payments with end-to-end tracking. While using the Ripple’s xCurrent solution, the two banks will communicate with each other in real-time and confirm the payment details before initiating the transaction and will further confirm the delivery once it is settled.

As reported by Ripple, during the Money 20/20 event, American Express Vice President talked about the payment challenges currently faced by Small and Medium scale Businesses (SME’s) and how Ripple’s solutions could be best suited to solve these issues.

Marcus Treacher, Ripple’s SVP of customer success, explained that:

“The consumption of Ripple technology is not a heavy lift for SMEs. This is because we’re implementing within the existing payment networks and banking world.”

This means that now American Express cardholders can witness instant money transfer facilities just like as seen in Santander’s OnePayFX mobile app. Ripple has now emerged as a forerunner in the development of blockchain solutions for making instant cross-border transactions and settlements. Currently the two major solutions used on the RippleNet are xCurrent and XRapid.

While commenting on the latest development of American Express, Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse said:

“it separated a connection from the cryptocurrency or the token.” He said; “what that means is that a bank or non-bank like AMEX can use Ripple to connect and just exchange value from one fiat currency to another directly, without the need for any intermediate blockchain currency.”

Additionally, in a recent job posting by American Express, the company said that it is focusing on

“growth, new products and technology offerings to meet customer needs and build on the American Express brand. In 2018 we are introducing a [blockchain] solution with Ripple and Santander.”

Since the beginning of this year, Ripple is seen making ties with a number of other payment services providers like MoneyGram and Western Union in addition to several banks. MoneyGram will be making use of Ripple’s xRapid solution which makes use of Ripple’s native XRP tokens.

While making a bold claim about Ripple’s xRapid solution, Ripple CEO Garlinghouse said:

“By the end of this year, major banks will use xRapid as a liquidity tool. By the end of next year, I would certainly hope that we will see […] in the order of magnitude […] of dozens.”

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Bhushan Akolkar

Bhushan is a FinTech enthusiast and holds a good flair in understanding financial markets. His interest in economics and finance draw his attention towards the new emerging Blockchain Technology and Cryptocurrency markets. He is continuously in a learning process and keeps himself motivated by sharing his acquired knowledge. In free time he reads thriller fictions novels and sometimes explore his culinary skills.

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