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Western Union: 'Too Early' to Discuss Ripple Labs Pilot Project

Global payments giant Western Union is keeping quiet about its rumored plans to tap distributed ledger technology.

Apr 30, 2015 at 7:15 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 11:40 a.m. UTC

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.

Still, representatives for the Colorado-based company remain tight-lipped about what the proposed project with Ripple Labs would entail.

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.

DISCLOSURE

The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups.

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