Western Union has formally responded to statements suggesting it is taking concrete steps toward using distributed ledger technologies via a partnership with Ripple Labs.
Long cited as a technology that could enable more cost-effective cross-border payments, Western Union has, as commentators have noted, what is perhaps one of the more evident vested interests in exploring digital currency offerings.
A spokesperson told CoinDesk:
“We have had preliminary discussions with Ripple regarding a pilot settlement project, but it is too early to discuss details at this time.”
The revelation suggests Western Union may be looking to use a system like Ripple to move fiat payments between customers in a similar manner as Align Commerce, which uses the bitcoin blockchain as means to remit payment across borders where it is exchanged locally.
Elsewhere, prominent companies working on cross-border payments include Kenya’s BitPesa and the Ghana-based startup Beam, each of which is focused on promoting the technology in select African markets.