(Reuters) American Express has introduced cryptocurrency payments for US corporate customers sending funds to UK-based firms that bank with Santander.
American Express said its FX International Payments (FXIP) business had partnered with Ripple to provide real-time, trackable non-card payments from the US to Britain.
Customers are already using the service, the companies said, and it would be extended in the future.
First major business use
The move marks one of the first major business uses of a blockchain, a shared database of transactions maintained by a network of computers on the internet.
Financial firms hope the technology – of which Bitcoin is the most famous exponent – can reduce the cost and complexity of burdensome processes such as securities settlement and international payments.
”American Express has a long history of integrating new technologies,” said American Express’s chief information officer Marc Gordon, in a statement.