Two Kuwait Banks Join Ripple Payment System

The international payment technology by Ripple is a substitute for the SWIFT system.

by Kalina Tekelieva
30 May • 2 min
In News

The National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) and the Kuwait Finance House (KFH) announced on Tuesday they have both joined the blockchain network for instant cross-border payments RippleNet.

Under the collaboration, NBK and KFH will be able to provide fast and secure payment services to their customers by using Ripple’s global decentralized network of banks, payment providers, digital asset exchanges, and corporates.

It was not made clear which Ripple software the two banks will use – xCurrent, which is used to settle fiat transactions, or xRapid, designed for payments with Ripple’s XRP coin.

Before introducing the RippleNet system in their operations, NBK and KFH need to obtain approval from the Kuwaiti regulatory bodies.

What does RippleNet offer?

Commenting on the advantages of the RippleNet solution, Southeast Asia director at Ripple, Navin Gupta, said:

“By joining Ripple’s growing, global network, financial institutions like NBK can process their customers’ payments into and out of Kuwait instantly, reliably and cost-effectively, as well as expand their payments solutions into new markets - including those that are otherwise too difficult or expensive to reach”.

RippleNet is developed as a substitute for the widely used SWIFT system for overseas funds transfer, as it is capable of performing transactions instantly, securely, and at lower prices.

Ripple in the Middle East

NBK and KFH are said to be the first Kuwaiti banks to join RippleNet, but they are not the first financial institutions in the Middle East to strike deals with the California-based financial services provider. Forerunner was the National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD), which teamed up with Ripple for cross-border payments in February 2017.

A year later, the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) struck a deal with the blockchain company providing local banks with access to xCurrent. Ripple added also Oman-based BankDhofar to its payment network at the end of April.