Ripple introduced a new version of its popular product xCurrent, a rival of SWIFT- the 45-year-old network used for communication by banks globally. The new version of xCurrent labeled 4.0 will be used to integrate with Ripple’s other major product xRapid. xRapid utilizes Ripple’s token XRP to facilitate cross-border settlements in a span of seconds than what it used to take days to transfer. XRP will be used as a bridge currency to eliminate costs and hassles of maintaining foreign reserves and facilitating transactions quickly and securely. This eliminates the pre-fund bank account requirement for payment processors in receiving countries.
Asheesh Birla, Ripple’s Senior Vice President of Product said:
“What this release enables you to do is that in countries where you think it’s appropriate and xRapid’s available, using your xCurrent software, you can now plug into on-demand liquidity using xRapid.”
The launch of xCurrent began in September and now its existing customers which include Santander, Itaú and American Express are being transitioned to a new version.
Birla also noted that xCurrent is an on-premise software package as it’s tailored for every different customer and their needs to some extent. However, the new customers would start with Ripple’s latest offering xCurrent 4.0.
However, Birla stressed that xRapid integration with xCurrent is entirely optional. He said:
“In other countries, where there’s not good regulatory clearance or digital asset infrastructure, you just continue to use xCurrent as-is, with fiat liquidity”
A Ripple spokesperson has said that no xCurrent users have opted for xRapid integration. However, Ripple had announced that MercuryFX, Cualix and Catalyst Credit Union had been working on implementing xRapid for commercial payments. Ripple has also partnered up with three exchanges Bittrex, Coin.ph and Bitso to enable payments between USD to Philippine pesos and USD to Mexican pesos. Birla claimed that Mexico and Philippines are the two of the large destinations for payments with the availability of good infrastructure.