In Latin America, news comes this week that Santander Group is boosting its use of Ripple’s technology to aid payments across what CoinDesk reported is a “payment corridor” in Latin America.
As reported, the corridor would enable customers in Latin America to send money to the United States instantly, without fees, through the app One Pay FX. That app, the site noted, uses xCurrent software. The move would be an expansion beyond the current deployments of One Pay FX, which lets customers in the U.K. and Spain send money to the United States across One Pay FX. Santander has not confirmed which countries would be connected to the corridor. Santander has a presence in Chile, Mexico, Uruguay and Brazil. One Pay FX has been deployed thus far by the bank in Brazil, UK, Spain and Poland. Volumes have tripled from January 2019 to June 2019.
The site said that the corridor would not deploy the cryptocurrency known as XRP.
“Customers who were not doing international transfers are now using the service, customers who were using international transfer are now doing it more, and customers who had gone to use FinTech competition have come back because of the One Pay offering,” Cedric Menager, CEO of One Pay FX, said in the published report. The executive contrasted One Pay FX with SWIFT’s messaging system, chiefly through the former’s absence of fees. The expansion, he said, comes as “the international payment experience in the Latin American markets is even less evolved than in the European markets. There are even parts of the Latin American market where it’s almost impossible to do an online international payment.”
Separately, also in Latin America, banking service provider Bantotal is partnering with Bitex, a crypto exchange, to enable cross border payments done in bitcoin over the blockchain. Bantotal is based in Uruguay and services more than 60 different financial institutions across 14 countries, and as reported by CoinDesk, 20 million people use Bantotal’s money management services. Through the partnership, banks will be able to access Bitex services across a marketplace tied to the Bantotal BDevelopers program.
“Bantotal is one of the biggest banking providers in Latin America and is a huge player not just in Latin American but the greater Pacific,” said Sebastián Olivera, founder of the Uruguayan Fintech Chamber, as quoted by the site. Bitex helps convert fiat into bitcoin and then back into fiat over the course of a transaction.
“If I want to do a payment from Argentina to Chile, I don’t need to buy dollars with the Argentinian pesos then transfer the dollars to the U.S. then move the dollars to Chile and exchange them into Chilean pesos,” said Bitex Chief Marketing Officer Manual Beaudroit. “I can just send a payment from Argentina to Chile directly [using bitcoin].” The executive termed this a form of “peer to peer banking.”
Finally, in further evidence of tech-driven payment services in Latin America, Chilean electronic payments provider CurrencyBird has selected the AFEX Integrated Solutions application programming interface (API) to expand cross border payments through a range of currencies with an eye on serving thousands of Chilean businesses and private clients.