The Ripple Protocol is coming to two U.S. Banks, one located in New Jersey and the other Kansas, according to an announcement released by Ripple Labs that included press releases from the banks themselves.
Cross River Bank of Teaneck, New Jersey and CBW, a century old bank operating out of Tapeka, Kansas will be among the first banks to use the Ripple protocol to enable instantaneous transactions between customers and the network of Ripple gateways using the protocol.
CBW's Chief Technology Officer explained why the legacy systems simply are not as powerful as technologies like the Ripple Protocol.
“Today’s banks offer the equivalent of 300-year old paper ledgers converted to an electronic form – a digital skin on an antiquated transaction process[.] Ripple addresses the structural problem of payments as IP-based settlement infrastructure that powers the exchange of any types of value. We’ll now be one of the first banks in the world to offer customers a reliable, compliant, safe and secure way to instantly send and receive money internationally. As part of our integration with Ripple, we are rolling out Yantra’s cross-border, transaction-specific compliance, risk-scoring, monitoring and risk management system.”
Yantra's page says it “is a financial technology firm specializing in designing, developing and managing electronic payment systems” and includes a management team of ex-Google and ex-Yahoo employees. This should ease some fears over the network running into issues with strict compliance laws when transferring money overseas.
Compliance and bridging the gap to the fiat world is something Ripple has been extremely successful at. While Ripple holds many similarities, it is a different beast than Bitcoin. While Bitcoin is primarily built as a currency and has since had other things built on top of it, Ripple was always meant as a sort of virtual/fiat swap meet, with gateways enabling the transfer of virtually any kind of currency (digital or fiat) precious metals or even loyalty points.
The integration of the Ripple protocol will theoretically give the two banks' customers the ability to hold nearly any kind of asset in their account, although it seems that for now, the banks are focusing on the quick, virtually free, cross border payments that the Ripple Protocol enables.
The New Jersey based Cross River Bank announced that the Ripple protocol will be used to bring its customers “ real-time international payments between the U.S. and Western Europe.” seemingly implying but not explicitly stating that the technology will be used in specific and targeted ways.
Details of how customers will use the system have not been revealed yet. It is possible that everything will be done on the back end and customers won't know anything is different other than that their bank is offering lower international transfers than before. We will update this space as we gather more details.
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