The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) — the central bank for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) — has signed an agreement with Ripple to help banks in the KSA improve their payments infrastructure using xCurrent.
The announcement also comes a day after news emerged that UAE Exchange, a major remittance company in the United Arab Emirates, had signed on to use the startup’s RippleNet product to manage cross-border payments.
SAMA and Ripple have created a pilot program to provide support to KSA banks to use xCurrent, Ripple’s enterprise software solution that enables banks to instantly settle cross-border payments with end-to-end tracking. Participating banks from the KSA will use xCurrent to instantly settle payments sent into and out of the country, with greater transparency and lower costs.
Dilip Rao, the global head of infrastructure innovation at Ripple, believes the agreement with SAMA is part of a wave of recognition by financial institutions of the impact blockchain solutions can have on payments.
“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,” said Rao.
“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.”
SAMA’s use of xCurrent helps fuel global momentum for blockchain
SAMA’s recent adoption of xCurrent, makes it the second central bank to use blockchain technology to revolutionize payments, following the Bank of England’s successful proof of concept with Ripple in 2017.