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.
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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.”