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Ripple Teams Up with Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority to Offer Pilot Program for Saudi Banks

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by Bhushan Akolkar · 3 min read
Ripple Teams Up with Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority to Offer Pilot Program for Saudi Banks

The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) is the second biggest banking institutions to adopt blockchain technology after the Bank of England.

The blockchain startup Ripple has been seen expanding its footprint in the Asian market in the last two months. In mid-December 2017, banks from Japan and South Korea were reportedly testing the Ripple technology at their end for instant global transactions at low cost.

Much recently the blockchain company has also been seen making its presence in Europe and the Arab world. Ripple recently inked a deal with Spanish Banking Group Banco Santander which will be using Ripple’s xCurrent technology for powering instant global payments and will also be launching its mobile app by the Q1 of 2018.  Earlier this week, Ripple also announced the company’s first money transfer deal from the middle east with the UAE exchange for cross-border payments.

Yesterday on Feb 14, Ripple signed an yet another important agreement with the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) — the central bank for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), to help them improve their payments infrastructure using the Ripple’s xCurrent solution. Ripple’s xCurrent blockchain technology facilitates same-day, cross-border transactions to its customers, over the blockchain. However, it has to be noted that Ripple’s xCurrent technology doesn’t make use of the XRP tokens for transactions. More information for xCurrent can be obtained here.

As the central bank from the KSA has taken up the charge to implement the new infrastructure, it is said that other banks will also join the process in order to make instant payment settlements from across the border with higher efficiency and at reduced costs. The KSA will now access to all the financial institutions – including banks and other payment services – present on the RippleNet.

With SAMA adopting the Ripple technology, this makes it the second largest bank to use the blockchain technology and adopt the new infrastructure. The Bank of England remains the largest bank which tested the proof of concept with Ripple in 2017.

The global head of infrastructure innovation at Ripple, Dilip Rao, believes that with such big banking names getting associated with Ripple is a testimony to the fact that banks are slowly willing to move their infrastructure over the blockchain technology due to faster service, better security, and reduced operational costs.

Mr. Rao said: “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. 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.”

In addition to banks, Ripple has also been seen making important ties with many other global financial services who are willing to adopt the blockchain technology. One of the important deals is Ripple’s collaboration with MoneyGram which is the second biggest money transfer company on the globe.

MoneyGram is said to use Ripple’s xRapid solution which uses XRP tokens and is designed to provide on-demand liquidity and foreign exchange to instantly make global payments without the need for multiple corresponding accounts. In a much recent collaboration, another money transfer giant Western Union announced that it is currently testing Ripple technology at their end.

Similarly, Ripple has also made other important ties with China’s LianLian International, IDT Corporation, Mercury FX.

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