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Saudi Arabian central bank inks deal with blockchain startup Ripple

The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) has entered into an agreement with Ripple to help domestic banks improve their payments infrastructure using xCurrent.

By using xCurrent, participating banks would be able to instantly settle payments sent into and out of the country, with greater transparency and lower costs. Customers of these banks will benefit from faster, cheaper and more transparent cross-border transactions.

SAMA said it will provide the required training and project management to interested Saudi banks.

With this agreement, SAMA joins over 100 financial institutions who joined the Ripple network to power end-to-end tracking and instant settlement for their payments around the world.

“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 Dilip Rao, the global head of infrastructure innovation at Ripple. “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.”

Last year, the Bank of England selected Ripple to test whether blockchain technology could enable this “Global RTGS” capability and published the summary results of the proof of concept in July 2017. SAMA has become the second central bank to use blockchain technology to revolutionize global payments.

By Shampa Mani
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