Ripple Working With Saudi Arabian National Commercial Bank to Improve Cross-Border Payments

Following the announcement of a cooperation with the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority earlier this year, Ripple announced last Friday that the Saudi National Commercial Bank (NCB), one of the largest financial institutions in the Middle East, will join its blockchain network RippleNet with the goal of improving cross-border remittance capabilities. Ripple has already been providing transfers to banks and payment service providers to provide access to international payment liquidity.

Ripple said that NCB will be able to connect with financial institutions around the world using RippleNet, which will start with Singapore as a starting point to connect financial institutions in North America and Asia. As more banks in Saudi Arabia and the Middle East connect with RippleNet, customers will ultimately benefit. For small and medium-sized businesses and enterprises that rely on NCB, Ripple’s blockchain technology will also be effective and transparent to help them grow their business quickly. The NCB will officially operate on the RippleNet platform by the end of the fourth quarter of this year.

According to World Bank data, as of April this year, Saudi Arabia’s remittances reached $287 million USD; in 2016, the country also had $37.843 billion USD, ranking second in the largest remittances. NCB currently has 400 branches across the country and is the second largest bank in the Middle East with total assets.

In February of this year, Ripple teamed up with the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) to pilot its cross-border financial institution trading solution, xCurrent. Dilip Rao, head of infrastructure innovation at Ripple, said at the time, “Central banks around the world are leaning into blockchain technology in recognition of how it can transform cross-border payments, resulting in lower barriers to trade and commerce for both corporates and consumers.”