Amex Looks To RippleNet To Innovate B2B Payments

American Express is the latest financial company to become a member of RippleNet, the blockchain network operated by Ripple that provides real-time, business-to-business (B2B) global payments.

On its website, Ripple said American Express joins Credit Agricole, Airwallex and Cuallix, among others. According to Ripple, American Express FX International Payments will partner with Santander U.K. to create a transaction channel between the U.S. and U.K. for the first time. Given the U.S. is the U.K.’s biggest trading partner, there is thus a need to create “frictionless” commercial global payments in the U.K. The partnership between American Express FX International Payments and Santander U.K. will help American Express streamline cross-border B2B payments and have a bigger presence in the U.K.

“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, Santander’s global head of Transaction Banking, noted that Ripple’s RippleNet provides a new channel for the U.S. and U.K., which is a big opportunity for the B2B payments market around the globe.

“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,” said the Santander executive.  

The addition of Amex comes as Ripple is seeing increased competition from its former collaborator, R3. According to recent news from American Banker, R3 is building a cross-border B2B payments solution inspired by blockchain. The company will be partnering with 22 member banks on the project, including U.S. Bank, TD Bank, Barclays, BBVA, CIBC, Commerzbank, DNB, HSBC, Intesa, KBC, KB Kookmin Bank, KEB Hana Bank, Natixis, Shinhan Bank and Woori Bank. Currently, R3 is involved in a legal dispute with former collaborator Ripple.