The US Faster Payments Council held elections for its board of directors. Pat Thelen, Ripple’s Vice President for Strategic Accounts, was elected for a spot in the Technology Providers membership segment as an at-large member.
Acting FPC executive director, Kevin Christensen said,
“The new FPC Board represents the industry inclusiveness that is critical to the work of the organization,”
“Our job is to convene industry stakeholders to chart a path to ubiquitous faster payments, and these newly elected leaders will be instrumental in achieving that vision. The level of FPC member commitment is unparalleled, and with this passion comes to action: We will achieve universal faster payments.”
The Faster Payments Council
So what is the FPC, anyway? It’s something of a novelty. It’s an organization comprised by industry leaders that seek to create or facilitate a world-class payment system that can be used and trusted by Americans so that they can settle any payment safely, securely, anywhere in the world, at any time of the day, and with almost instant availability of funds.
The FPC hopes to foster collaboration between the industry’s leaders so that they can work together and use their resources and expertise to overcome the issues that are hampering the appearance of such a system.
The creation of domestic instant payment systems is a worldwide trend. As a matter of fact, the US is arriving very late to the party. The European Central Bank, for instance, has been pushing for a pan-European instant payments systems for years, and it’s already deployed since last November while, in the US, the industry is just starting to think about the possibility, and we can only wonder why.
We also wonder why Ripple is involved. Settling payments is Ripple’s bread and butter. It’s the signature problem that Ripple has been trying to solve for years. But Ripple’s focus has always been (and remains) on cross-border payments, not domestic ones, so the Californian firm’s involvement is a bit of a mystery.
Whatever the reason is for Ripple’s presence in the FPC, it’s clear that the new system, when and if it comes online, won’t be using the XRP cryptocurrency as a mediating coin (as it happens on Ripple’s xRapid platform) because you don’t need to exchange currencies when you’re transacting within the same country and using the same legal tender.
All that being said, it’s still a good idea for Ripple to be involved. The system maybe domestic at the start, but the US exchanges vast amounts of money with the rest of the world all the time. The new payments system could be built on Ripple’s technology from the beginning, that would make it ready to upgrade to international use by just clicking a button. And if that should happen, Ripple would be at the heart of it. Anything can happen because this is a seminal project that’s just getting started as an idea.
Other companies and organizations represented at the FCB include JP Morgan, Walmart, Target, Visa, and MasterCard, just to name the best-known ones. So from another point of view, Ripple’s inclusion also means that it’s playing with the big boys, which is also good news for the company.
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