Payments made by American Express' business customers on its FX International Payments (FXIP) platform will now be routed through Ripple's enterprise blockchain network, RippleNet.
Blockchain — otherwise known as distributed ledger technology — allows vast amounts of data to be stored on a dispersed network of computers around the world, rather than on one centralized server.
It was originally used to record all bitcoin transactions but increasingly businesses are finding alternative uses for the technology, such as payments, trade finance and identity verification.
"This collaboration with Ripple and Santander represents the next step forward on our blockchain journey, evolving the way we move money around the world," Marc Gordon, executive vice president and chief information officer at American Express, said in a statement Thursday.
American Express' blockchain project will initially allow customers in the U.S. to connect instant, traceable cross-border non-card payments to U.K. Santander bank accounts.
"This blockchain solution opens up a new channel between the U.S. and the U.K. and presents significant opportunity for payments globally", Jose Luis Calderon, global head of global transaction banking at Santander, said in a statement Thursday.