It seems that Ripple’s new xCurrent 4.0 client did not help the company to attract new users for its xRapid product. Ripple is working in order to be a new rival to SWIFT that is currently the most popular messaging network for financial institutions all around the world.
Ripple is working with the latest 4.0 version of xCurrent which can be easily integrated into the xRapid product. Nevertheless, it seems that there are no interested parties in using the product yet.
xRapid allows institutions and companies to have on-demand liquidity for cross-border transactions. At the same time, it is possible to use XRP in the middle of a cross-border payment corridor. In this way, it is possible for participants to eliminate the need to pre-fund bank account in specific countries.
The company started to roll out the xCurrent 4.0 product in September and some companies using it include American Express, Santander and Itaú. New customers will start with version 4.0. According to Asheesh Birla, Ripple SVP of Product, the xCurrent product is tailored to each customer to some extent.
Birla explained that the xRapid integration is entirely optional. He mentioned that there are some countries without a clear regulatory framework on virtual currencies. In this case, it is possible to keep using the xCurrent service with fiat liquidity. However, there were no xCurrent 4.0 users that opted for the xRapid integration.
According to CoinDesk, the BBVA bank informed that the institution tested a Ripple product last year but they did not provide specific information about it.
Banco Santander, instead, informed that the company is using xCurrent only but not xRapid or XRP. This bank decided not to upgrade to xRapid. Santander explained that they do not require the xRapid product to offer the services that it is currently offering such as the One Pay FX application.
Ripple informed a few months ago that there were some companies using or implementing xRapid to enhance their processes. These firms were MercuryFX, Cuallix and Catalyst Corporate Credit Union.
Birla mentioned that clients using the xRapid product were able to reduce transaction costs and also set up times. Ripple took the decision to partner with Bittrex, Coins.ph and Bitso in order to facilitate xRapid payments between U.S. dollars and Philippine pesos and U.S. dollars and Mexican pesos.
About it, Birla explained:
“They’re two of the larger destinations for payments, and they have good infrastructure. We picked those to get started and we want to go from here.”
The new xCurrent 4.0 has a feature that is known as multihop and allows payments to be relayed using a chain of xCurrent users around the world. At the moment, the current payments system relies on a few financial centers around the world, including banks as Citi.
With the multihop function, smaller banks are able to have the same reach that larger banks are able to achieve. Another feature is the bulk FX, allowing customers to buy fiat currencies in bulk. A third feature links xCurrent to local payment rails.
Although the new version of xCurrent allows for an integration with xRapid there are no new firms that have publicly embraced this product. Crypto investors are very excited about an even larger adoption of the XRP virtual currency by institutions around the world.