The Saudi central bank is set to carry out a test of Ripple’s settlement solution, xCurrent, in a bid to improve payments infrastructure and enables KSA’s banks to instantly settle cross-border payments with end-to-end tracking.
The deal is another boost for Ripple’s expansion in the region, after it has signed foreign exchange giant UAE Exchange last week to use its blockchain technology to power real-time international payments. However, today’s agreement with the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) means things are shifting into a higher gear.
SAMA will also provide interested Saudi banks with program management and training.
Ripple’s cryptocurrency, XRP, is not a part of this deal. The cryptocurrency has already failed to react to the growing acceptance of products developed by the California-based blockchain specialist.
This ground-breaking pilot program marks an important moment for both blockchain and remittance communities in the middle east. Saudi Arabia is ranked as the second top remittance sending country in a global scale, counting above $36.9 billion– based on the 2016 World Bank migration and remittances factbook, which looks at remittance outflows.
Dilip Rao, the global head of infrastructure innovation at Ripple, commented: “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.”
He added: “SAMA is leading the charge as the first central bank to provide resources to domestic banks that want to enable instant payments using Ripple’s innovative blockchain solution.”