The partnership between Western Union, financial services and communications firm, and Ripple, a settlement system, made headlines earlier this year. The duo involved made a deal in which Western Union will test a blockchain trial using the Ripple token (XRP). As it turns out, CEO of Western Union, Hikmet Ersek, believes that its implementation did not seem to differ compared to the traditional system in place – stating that he’s yet to see any cost efficiency.
After six months into the test trial, Ersek spoke to Fortune about the criticism his company has gained in the past, and how he was hoping to see changes by using a blockchain based solution. In particular, he argued,
“We are always criticized that Western Union is not cost-efficient, blah blah blah, but we did not see that part of efficiency yet during our tests.”
When he was given the opportunity to speak at the Economic Club of New York, he did not deny his support for the blockchain trial, but rather stated that he wants Ripple to clearly show him how the XRP system can better current systems in place.
Hearing such statements from their partner, Ripple’s SVP, Asheesh Birla responded saying Western Union was not doing enough to see results. Birla explicitly said,
“If they were to move volume at scale, then maybe you would see something, but with 10, it’s not surprising that they are not seeing cost savings.”
Birla makes a solid point, as Western Union’s average transactions per seconds sits in the thousands, making a measly ten, according to Ripple’s SVP, not worth considering.
Despite it all, it appears that Ersek is not entirely for cryptocurrencies, as he has previously made remarks like, “People aren’t their hospital bills in cryptos” and “nations are built on flags, constitutions, borders, and currencies”. This definitely comes of no surprise given the fact that Ersek’s agreed to the blockchain trial but has yet to make beneficial use of it.