Saudi Bank's large-scale distribution becomes part of the international payments ripple network


The National Commercial Bank, the first well-established bank of Saudi Arabia, has become the last financial institution to be part of RippleNet, Ripple's network of business blocks.

A huge market for international remittances thanks to the considerable population of migrant workers, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Arabia (KSA) has already seen its pilot pilot technology from the Ripple central bank for instant international payments. With over 5 million customers worldwide, the National Commercial Bank (BCN) has followed the central bank in RippleNet to allow almost instantaneous international payments with international partner banks.

RippleNet is Ripple's corporate blockchain network with over 100 financial institutions including banks, payment service providers, remittance operators and other financial institutions using the SWIFT replacement platform for near-real-time clearing and settlement of international transactions.

The bank will initially connect to financial institutions in North America and Asia, starting in Singapore, Ripple said in an announcement.

Ripple sees the KSA as one of the largest sources of remittances in the world in the last ten years. Citing World Bank statistics, in 2016, 37 billion dollars of remittances were sent from abroad, largely from a population of foreign workers remaining over 10 million in 2018 despite a slowdown in the largest Arab economy.

"For SMEs and businesses dependent on the NCB, more efficient and transparent remittances will provide stability and help grow their businesses faster," added Ripple.

As CCN reported earlier in February, the Saudi Monetary Authority (SAMA) – the defacto central bank of the kingdom – became the first central monetary institution in the world to join RippleNet. The central bank initiated a pilot project among regional banks using xCurrent, Ripple's end-to-end tracking business blockchain software.

Meanwhile, the central banks of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are working simultaneously on a cross-border cryptocurrency for instant transactions between the two countries.

Close-up image of Shutterstock.

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