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

NEWSINBRIEF
Pete Rizzo
Apr 30, 2015 at 20:15 UTC  |  Updated  May 1, 2015 at 16:49 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.

Western UnionRemittancesRipple Labs