Fidor Bank AG is the first bank to integrate the real-time global settlement protocol provided by Ripple Labs.
The German direct bank will adopt San Francisco-based Ripple's open-source, distributed payment protocol that enables nearly free instant payments in any currency, including dollars, yen, euros, Bitcoin and loyalty points. Ripple Labs also has its own virtual currency, called ripple.
"Ripple enables us to securely and instantly send money anywhere in the world at no additional cost and through the same customer facing products and relationships we offer today," says Matthias Kroner, CEO of Fidor Bank AG, in a press release.
Fidor offers a combination of traditional and online banking services to private and corporate clients. It has a history of supporting virtual currency, and has worked with Payward Ltd. and Bitcoin Deutschland GmbH, both of which operate virtual currency exchanges. Payward's Kraken exchange also supports the ripple digital currency.
The bank will use Ripple to power inter-bank payments with other institutions and intra-bank payments between branches, according to the release, at lower costs and settlement and foreign exchange risk.
Ripple is headed by CEO Chris Larsen, who has also held leadership roles at Prosper Marketplace and E-Loan.