PNC to use Ripple blockchain tech for international payments

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PNC Financial Services Group in Pittsburgh has agreed to use Ripple’s blockchain technology to process international payments, joining other large banking companies that have allied with the tech firm in the quest to speed up money transfers.

The $369 billion-asset PNC will join Ripple’s distributed-ledger-based network, RippleNet, to exchange payment instructions for banks, Chris Ward, head of product at PNC Treasury Management, said in an email Wednesday. PNC will go live with the service some time next quarter. Financial terms between PNC and Ripple were not disclosed.

Bank of America, American Express, Banco Santander and Credit Agricole are among the companies that already use RippleNet.

It is the “first production usage” by PNC of blockchain-related technologies, Ward said.

“As the global economy becomes increasingly digital, the need for real-time payments globally is critical,” Ward said in a news release, also issued Wednesday. “We are focused on providing our clients with capabilities that enable making secure digital payments in an instant, whether they are sent across the street or across the world.”

PNC’s commercial clients will be able to receive real-time invoice payments from buyers located outside the U.S., Ripple said.

“For far too long, the technology underlying cross-border payments has been opaque, slow and costly. PNC, as an innovative and forward-thinking institution, understands the promise of emerging technologies like blockchain,” Marcus Treacher, senior vice president of customer success at Ripple, said in the release. “Quite a few payment providers have joined RippleNet recently, so it’s great to see one of the major U.S. banks come on board as well.”

PNC currently processes international payments through its correspondent network. PNC will continue to use that method, in addition to using the Ripple platform, Ward said.

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Blockchain Payments Digital payments Commercial banking Distributed ledger technology PNC Financial Services Group Ripple