Ripple has released a new version of its popular product xCurrent. It is positioned as a competitor to SWIFT, which is a network messaging in the global payments infrastructure for over 45 years. The new version xCurrent 4.0 is tightly integrated with other important product from Ripple — xRapid.

xRapid uses cryptocurrency XRP to ensure that the company calls a “liquidity need” for cross-border transactions. This allows you to use XRP as an intermediary currency cross-border payment in the corridor, which, according to Ripple, will help eliminate the need for payment providers to have pre-populated local currency Bank accounts in the countries-addressees of the translation.

– With the release of this version, you can now using your software xCurrent, to the advantage of liquidity, if necessary, using xRapid in countries where it is available, said senior Vice President of products Ashish Birla, announcing xCurrent 4.0.

Release preparation xCurrent 4.0 started in September, according to representatives of the company, and their main customers, including American Express, Santander and Itaú, are currently moving to a new version.

Birla did not give the exact timing for completion of the upgrade to the full version, but he said that xCurrent is such a product which is ideal for most customers, therefore, he believes that all new users should start using xCurrent with this version.

However, Birla said that the integration xRapid completely optional to use.

– In those countries where there is no proper regulation of the infrastructure of digital assets or where it is simply absent, you just continue to use the xCurrent for the liquidity of Fiat currencies, said Birla.

As also stated by the representatives of the company, at the moment, none of the users xCurrent 4.0 does not chose to integrate xRapid.

Some of the representatives of the companies-partners of the Ripple expressed with regards to the new version.

The representative of Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) announced that the Bank has tested the product Ripple last year, but refused to specify which, and whether they received the update.

Manager corporate Affairs at Banco Santander Ovidio Cordero stressed that the Bank uses only xCurrent, but still have not received the update. He also added that Santander at the moment does not need it to provide users with all the benefits joint with Ripple mobile offers One Pay FX.

Ripple also announced in October that MercuryFX, Cuallix and Catalyst Corporate Credit Union will begin using xRapid for commercial payments.

Birla said that financial institutions can spend months on the creation of Bank accounts in foreign countries and financing their local currency in large volume to ensure liquidity.

While using xRapid companies will be able to exchange currency of the country of origin for XRP and then use XRP to buy the currency of the destination country.

According to the response from our customers who use xRapid not only reduce their costs but they also reduce the time of the transfer, said Birla.

To provide liquidity for these transactions need an independent market-makers for currency exchange. Ripple has partnered with three such companies — Bittrex, and Bitso — to facilitate payments through xRapid that work with US dollars, Philippine peso and Mexican peso.

– Mexico and the Philippines are among the most important countries for such payments, which also have good infrastructure. We also chose them to begin with, to then continue to grow from there, said Birla.

However, the new version xCurrent offers advantages also for those customers who do not want integration xRapid.

Among the most notable improvements in xCurrent 4.0 is allocated the function of multi-hop, which allows transfer payments without the need to adjust payments via correspondent banks. The current payment system relies on a few major banks like American Express or Citi, which, according to Birla, act as nodes for payments.

Multi-hop allows small regional players, like Siam Commercial Bank in Thailand, to make the transaction as easy as any major correspondent Bank. At the same time as said Birla, after the configuration functions, confirm the transfer will happen almost instantly.

Another feature, which is aimed specifically at customers who do not want to integrate xRapid is the so-called bulk FX (FX-Foreign eXchange). This feature allows customers to buy cash currency in large amounts, allowing them to pre-Fund accounts in foreign banks and provide customers with always actual exchange rates.

The third function allows you to associate xCurrent local payment rails, like automated clearing houses or similar. With this feature, which it is not SWIFT, the financial institution can accurately verify whether or not the payment recipient.

Finally, the new version xCurrent includes UI updates, which, according to Birla, will make software setup less confusing.

xCurrent 4.0 includes a number of improvements, but cryptocurrency investors pay attention to this update mostly because enhanced integration xRapid can increase the likelihood of greater implementation of XRP institutions.

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