Jeddah-based National Commercial Bank (NCB) has decided to adopt Ripple’s blockchain technology to boost their payment services.

The move comes after the Saudi Arabian central bank, in February, signed a deal with Ripple that allowed commercial banks in the country to settle payment transactions using blockchain. The Saudi Arabian securities regulator also gave financial technology licenses two startups recently.

“The bank will first connect to financial institutions in North America and Asia, starting in Singapore,” said Ripple, adding that the process will complete by end of Q4 2018.

NCB is the oldest lender in Saudi Arabia and one of the largest in the Pan-Arab region with 5.4 million customers. “Their decision to join RippleNet is an innovative step forward in blockchain adoption in both the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and across the Middle East,” said Ripple.

The deal is also in line with Ripple’s strategy to expand in the Middle East given its regional significance in the world remittance network. Last year, the National Bank of Abu Dhabi became the first bank in the region to adopt Ripple’s bockchain technology.

“As more banks in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Middle East connect to RippleNet, their customers will ultimately benefit. For SMEs and corporations that depend on NCB, more efficient and transparent remittances will provide stability and help them grow their business faster,” said Ripple.

by Parnika Sokhi