Saudi British Bank (SABB) Launches New Ripple-Based Cross-Border Payment Pilot

Ripple continues to expand in the Middle East. This time, the third largest bank in Saudi Arabia, the Saudi British Bank (SABB), announced that they are currently piloting a new instant cross-border payment pilot. The financial institution is one of the three in the country that has already received permission to test this solution from the country’s central bank.

Ghada Al Jarbou, the company’s head of global liquidity and cash management wants the bank to start offering this solution to clients in the near future.

She explained that Saudi Arabia is one of the largest remittances markets in the world, thus, improving cross-border payments is a priority. The intention is to make payments and transfers faster and cheaper for clients. She went on saying that in the future, they want to offer instant payments to several countries.

Ghada Al Jarbou said about this:

“While the central bank is working on domestic instant payments offerings and investigating the possibility of real-time cross-border transactions with the UAE using a cryptocurrency, we are keen to offer instant payments on a global scale as soon as possible. We have just gone live at the end of December 2018.”

Dilip Rao, the global head of infrastructure innovation at Ripple, said that the company is expanding its presence in the Middle East. For Ripple, this region is the primary place for early adoption of blockchain solutions.

A few weeks ago, Ripple informed that they are currently working with more than 200 financial institutions from all over the world. Many of these firms are located in the Middle East. Mr. Rao explained that they have three banks in Saudi Arabia working with Ripple’s services, two in Kuwait, one in Bahrain, one in Oman, and a couple in the UAE.

SAAB did not inform whether they will be using or implementing xRapid or xCurrent. The xRapid service allows firms and companies to use XRP in order to source liquidity on-demand. This reduces even further transaction costs and makes payments much faster.

Saudi Arabia has also been analyzing the possibility of issuing a digital currency to process payments between countries. This is something similar to what the UAE is doing with the development of a local digital currency.

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