World’s largest Islamic bank explores blockchain

Al Rajhi Bank, which holds the largest pool of Islamic banking assets globally, recently concluded a cross-border money transfer using Ripple blockchain technology, a first for any Saudi bank.

The money transfer between the Islamic bank’s head offices in Riyadh and Jordan broke new ground for the Kingdom which prior to this, according to Al Rajhi, never moved money outside its jurisdiction using distributed ledger technology. The transaction is part of Al Rajhi’s digital strategy to optimize efficiency and bolster its bottom line.

“This technology will allow us to further reduce processing costs across our settlement and reconciliation processes, while improving the predictability and efficiency of our intra-day liquidity management,” shared COO Waleed Al Mogbel.

Having completed its maiden blockchain cross-border deal, the bank confirmed that it is now in close discussions with the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority to scale up the use of blockchain to serve its retail and corporate customers. In particular, the Islamic bank has identified remittance as a prime business line which will benefit from the integration of blockchain: Al Rajhi has the largest remittance center network nationwide (over 200) and the Kingdom is also one of the leading countries for remittance in the world.


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