The National Commercial Bank (NCB), Saudi Arabia’s second largest and first established bank, has joined RippleNet, Ripple’s blockchain network of independent banks and payment providers.
Saudi Arabia’s decision to join RippleNet comes as no surprise. RippleNet is Ripple’s enterprise network that connects banks, payment providers, digital asset exchanges and corporates. Its key financial executions include remittances and payments.The Middle Eastern country has a sizable migrant worker population which will serve as a massive market for international remittances.
The World Bank has already cited 37 billion dollars in outward and 308 millions in inward remittances sent from the Kingdom of Saudi Aria in 2016 alone. This sum has quantifiably made the country one of the largest sources of remittances in the world. The market currently comprises of Saudi Arabian citizens and over 10 million foreign workers as of 2018.
National Commercial Bank will begin production on RippleNet by the end of 2018. The launch will begin with two payment corridors- North America and Asia- regions currently inaccessible to NCB customers. RippleNet will help provide immediate value to customers with faster and more transparent international payment services. Additionally, the market is also open for Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) as well as large corporates. Overall, NCB is geared to set up significant volume in payment and remittances.
Ripple announced this move by stating, “For SMEs and corporations that depend on NCB, more efficient and transparent remittances will provide stability and help them grow their business faster.”
The National Commercial Bank (NCB) has garnered over 5 million customers worldwide since its foundation in 1953. With 400 branches across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, it serves both citizens and financial customers across the world. As one of the largest financial institutions in the Middle East, this decision paves way for blockchain adoption in both Saudi Arabia and the Middle East. This move also connects the NCB with Asia, beginning with Singapore, and various other financial institutions in North America.
National Commercial Bank’s decision to join RippleNet follows Saudi Arabia’s de facto central bank, Saudi Arabian Monetory Authority (SAMA), initiating a pilot using xCurrent. This major step in joining the Ripple network joined SAMA to Ripple’s end-to-end tracking enterprise blockchain software for near-instant international payments with international partner banks and financial institutions.
The National Commercial Bank’s decision comes amid Saudi Arabia’s ongoing project with the United Arab Emirates to enable instant cross-border cryptocurrency transactions between the two countries.