Following weeks of speculations, Western Union (NYSE:WU), the world’s largest money transfer service, has confirmed its working relationship with Ripple as the company begins testing transactions with the cryptocurrency.
Last month, rumors surfaced that the money transfer company had plans to adopt Ripple this year, sending the company’s stock up by 6%. MoneyGram (NASDAQ:MGI), the second-largest money transfer service, has already begun adopting Ripple in its payments system.
“We are looking especially in the processing settlement and working capital optimization, also in the regulation part, on the compliance part on the blockchain capabilities,” said Western Union CEO Hikmet Ersek in its latest earnings call. “And we do test, we do have some tests with Ripple.”
The expectation is that with Ripple, Western Union customers would be able to move money faster. It is likely that RippleNet, the startup’s enterprise blockchain, will be used throughout the process.
However, Western Union CFO Raj Agrawal also mentioned in an interview with Bloomberg that these blockchain efforts are still in a “testing phase” and are not a key part of the firm’s business.
He also added that the trial has yet to bear any fruit that would be a “big unlock” for Western Union.
Earlier this week, Ripple unveiled a partnership with UAE Exchange, one of the largest money transfer services in the Middle East. As with most of Ripple’s other partners, UAE Exchange has joined RippleNet rather than the Ripple Consensus Ledger, which is its public blockchain.
“We’ve been testing different products with Western Union for a while. We’re excited about our work towards a pilot implementation of xRapid, which uses XRP in payment flows,” Ripple said in a statement to Bloomberg News.
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