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.

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