American Express has introduced block-based instant payments using Ripple, a fintech for corporate clients in the United States to send funds to UK-based companies, the companies said on Thursday.
American Express reported that the FX International Payments business (FXIP) had partnered with Ripple to provide non-US real-time credit card payments to the UK. Customers are already using the service, which will be expanded in the future, the companies said.
This marks one of the first major uses of blockchain, a transaction database shared and maintained by a computer network on the internet, which became known as the system that supports bitcoin.
Financial firms expect the new technology to reduce the cost and complexity of heavy-handed processes such as securities settlement and international payments, but many say the widespread use of the technology is still several years away.
Ripple, whose main focus is cross-border block-based payment, operates with many large banks and is funded by companies such as Santander UK, Standard Chartered, Accenture and SBI Holdings.
“Transfers that used to take days will be completed in real time, allowing money to move as fast as today’s business,” Ripple Chief Executive Brad Garlinghouse said in a statement.