As many have said before, distributed financial technologies in the retail payment space feels like the Internet in the mid-90s with lots of potential and expectation but not a lot of action. And just as the experimenting led to powerful use cases then,
we expect to see the same pattern repeat itself with distributed ledgers.
To explore this opportunity ourselves, we recently tested whether distributed ledger technology could easily integrate into traditional payment systems and the answer was yes, it can. The integration effort was surprisingly easy and quick to do. But, creating
a technical solution is the easy part. Building a business case for it is trickier.
This project was purely experimental. Blockchain is an exciting technology that lends itself to innovation in the payments world. While many industry players agree that it’s got huge potential, banks and retailers are yet to fully explore its possibilities.
It's good to start testing the technology so we're ready to integrate it into more traditional systems when the time comes.
The project used Ripple, a specialist in cross-currency settlement and a leading solution in the distributed financial technology field. Ripple’s API is very mature and simple to implement; additionally we had in-house expertise in understanding how to integrate
Ripple has a strong use case for distributed financial technologies and has moved the technology from being simply edgy and interesting to being commercially viable. As Ripple’s tech is market ready, that meant it was the right choice for us to test with.
Speaking to Chris Larsen, Ripple's CEO and co-founder about the experiment, he said it's encouraging to see everyone from banks to payment system specialists exploring distributed financial technologies like Ripple for efficient, low-cost, cross-border settlement
as we continue to lay the foundation for the Internet of Value.
With this successful pilot behind us, we're looking for other opportunities to develop market-viable blockchain-like solutions.