Financial services giant American Express has begun accepting instant B2B blockchain payments through Ripple's new fintech platform.
US corporates can use the service to send funds to British companies banking with Santander, the firms announced on Thursday.
The companies have partnered to offer businesses the ability to make payments through Ripple's real-time, trackable blockchain service.
Although the service is still in the early stages, the companies confirmed that customers are using the platform and that availablity will be extended soon.
Blockchain, which is the backbone of the Bitcoin digital currency, connects so-called "blocks" through cryptography technology and is essentially a database of business transactions.
This is one of the first major use-cases of blockchain technology, and financial firms can make use of it to replace timely payment processes.
Ripple will be integrated into the American Express FXIP platform, meaning non-card payments can be processed through its real-time payment network.
Marc Gordon, executive vice president and chief information officer at American Express, said his company is constantly investing in new technologies to improve experiences for customers.
"American Express has a long history of integrating new technologies into innovative products and services that differentiate and enhance the customer experience," he said.
"This collaboration with Ripple and Santander represents the next step forward on our blockchain journey, evolving the way we move money around the world."
Greg Keeley, executive vice president of global corporate payments at American Express, described blockchain as "transformative". He continued: "We've already seen evidence that blockchain technology is playing a transformational role in the way customers are served," he said.
"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."
At first, the service will connect American Express customers to Santander in the UK. They'll benefit from instant, trackable, cross-border payments.
José Luis Calderón, global head of Santander global transaction banking, said, "We are committed to creating a leading international payment eco-system meeting the needs of companies and customers worldwide.
"This blockchain solution opens up a new channel between the US and the UK and presents significant opportunity for payments globally.
"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."
Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple, said: "We're taking a huge step forward with American Express and Santander in solving the problems corporate customers experience with global payments.
"Transfers that used to take days will be completed in real-time, allowing money to move as fast as business today. It is just the beginning, and we look forward to growing this partnership to help other American Express FXIP customers."
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