American Express (Amex) and Santander have partnered with financial technology firm Ripple to launch cross-border business-to-business (B2B) payments enabled by blockchain technology.

Amex will now route payments made by its business customers on its FX International Payments (FXIP) platform through Ripple’s enterprise blockchain network.

American Express executive vice president and CIO Marc Gordon 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.”

The integration of Ripple into the American Express FXIP platform will allow non-card payments to be routed through RippleNet, the real-time payment network of Ripple.

Initially, the project will support US customers to make instant, trackable, cross-border payment to Santander bank accounts in the UK.

Santander global head of global transaction banking José Calderón added: “This blockchain solution opens up a new channel between the U.S. and the UK and presents significant opportunity for payments globally.”

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Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse commented: “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.”