Anyone who has ever transferred funds abroad knows it isn’t always an easy process – and that payments can take days to clear.
Santander is hoping its new app, which transfers live international payments, will speed up that process.
It allows payments of between £10 and £10,000 to be made at any time of the day, with funds appearing in the recipient’s account the next working day.
The app, which connects to Apple Pay, is initially being rolled out as a staff pilot.
At first, users will be able to send payments made in Euros to 21 countries and US Dollar payments to the Untied States only.
The Blockchain technology that underpins the app is provided by Ripple, a company that Santander has invested in through its ‘InnoVentures’ fund.
Blockchain is the network best known for enabling the transfer of virtual currencies such as Bitcoin.
Sigga Sigurdardottir, head of customer and innovation at Santander, said: “The need for finance has evolved from providing a physical Pound in your pocket or card in your purse, where you pay at a till, to being seamlessly integrated into a new, always on, connected lifestyle.
“At Santander we work hard to ensure our banking is simple, personal and fair and believe new Blockchain technology will play a transformational role in the way we achieve our goals and better serve our customers, adding value by creating more choice and convenience.”
Ripple’s CEO Chris Larsen said: “Ripple is redefining the way that value moves around the world, and today we’re already enabling real-time, affordable international settlement between banks who have adopted our solutions.
“As an early adopter and pioneer in the banking industry, Santander is the first bank in the world to transfer real funds externally.
“In doing so, they are creating a new, exemplary standard of service.”
Santander said the app has undergone the same “rigorous testing” all new technology goes through ahead of being rolled out.
Earlier this year, the bank revealed an encouraging fall in the number of complaints it received in the second half of 2015.
It credited the improved results to a renewed focus on ‘customer experience’.