Ripple continues to make strides in the cross-border payments space, with the latest partnership being with the National Commercial Bank in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This also marks the company’s inroads into the Saudi Arabian market as a hotspot for remittance payments.
The NCB was the first bank in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and is now one of the largest financial institutions in the Middle East area. The bank has over 400 branches across the country and manages the second largest amount of assets in the Middle East. It has over 5.4 million customers all over the world, and also own majority shares in one of the largest Islamic banks in the world known as Turkiye Finans.
Ripple stated that the move of the NCB being added to RippleNet came after the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority trialed xCurrent, Ripple’s offering for cross-border payments. They also said that this move will enable NCB to connect with payment corridors in North America and Asia, which are two of the most “critical” payments corridors for the bank.
While existing systems such as SWIFT have established corridors for payments around countries that move a lot of money, Ripple aims to target countries that have been overlooked. Moreover, many have speculated that Ripple will push xCurrent first, as it works with the system that has been established while improving on it. The next step is speculated to be the conversion of these banks to xRapid, Ripple’s premier offering for cross-border payments.
xCurrent works on top of the existing system of correspondent banking and utilizes blockchain technology to settle payments, albeit with added transparency on both ends of the payment. xRapid, on the other hand, utilizes XRP as a bridge currency to settle cross-border payments within minutes. Companies that have undertaken the pilot for xRapid have stated that they have cut fees by 40-70%.
The KSA area sees around $27 billion in outward remittances, due to its 10 million foreign workers. This marks a ripe opportunity for Ripple to capitalize on with their technologies, especially considering that the launch of the production model of xRapid is set to occur by the end of this year.
User HRS on Twitter said:
“I just sent some money from my ahli account to a British account and it arrived instantly, thought it was really weird since it always takes several days, seeing this tweet, it now makes sense”
User EasyCare landscaping said:
“Bought another $1k of XRP Earlier, congrats on another partnership Ripple, I get it, wait and it’s the whole plan but c’mon shit gets a little frustrating day in and day out. You really want to switch after all that $ is coming in? Feel like the forgotten ones. IDK Just saying”