Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait (ABK) is the latest bank to integrate Ripple’s technology and join the ever expanding Ripple Net, The Arabian Business reports. The bank, announced hours ago that it shall in days ahead use Ripple’s solution to improve customer experiences as they transfer their funds in and out of Kuwait. Part of the agreement, the bank has said, it to reduce confirmation times which used to take hours to mere seconds as the Sharia Law complaint Ripple continue to promote and sink their roots deeper in Middle East and other Islamic countries.
The COO of ABK, Somnath Menon, said:
“This partnership with Ripple is aligned with our unwavering philosophy of re-imagining a simpler bank. We have significant interests in cross border remittances and plan to harness the power of Blockchain technology for making global payments faster and more convenient for our customers. As smart technologies continue to rapidly transform the financial sector, we remain committed to enhancing our offerings to our customers, and staying ahead of the innovation curve.”
By announcing their partnership with Ripple, a global cross border platform and a direct competitor of SWIFT, the bank becomes the third in the country. All the same, the nature of their relationship is yet to be made public and we can only speculate that they are settling for xCurrent.
The solution which the South Arabia Monetary Authority (SAMA) said will help promote and prod banks in Saudi Arabia to be innovative and use the solution allows processing of cross border payment but unfortunately make no use of XRP. A better alternative that is lagging is xRapid and direct incorporation would mean immediate XRP demand and over time, prices would benefit from slow but steady request of the coin. However, there is an option for ABK to upgrade to xCurrent Ver 4 and make use of xRapid.
While acknowledging this partnership, the MD of MENA Region at Ripple, Navin Gupta said:
“We look forward to supporting ABK’s ongoing efforts to enhance its digital banking services, by providing our innovative blockchain solutions for speedy cross-border payments”
Note that Kuwait is full of top-tier, Class A banks and if all of them migrate and use any of the three Ripple’s solution, it would be a morale boosting for investors as well as Ripple officials who have been tireless in their globe-trotting and marketing.
ABK now joins the National Bank of Kuwait (NBK)—the largest bank in the country which is under criticism for levying high fees.