On a roll...

On a roll…

The National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) is the first Middle East bank to introduce real-time cross-border payments on Ripple’s blockchain network.

Ripple says its tech fits within NBAD’s existing infrastructure and offers an end-to-end payment flow providing “transaction immutability and payment integrity”.

Vineet Varma, managing director and head of global transaction banking, NBAD, says with blockchain it hopes to “address the needs of our customers and drive forward more efficient and flexible service”.

Ripple also cites the 2016 World Bank migration and remittances factbook, where the UAE is ranked as the fourth top remittance-sending country in the world, accounting for more than $19 billion.

NBAD has 106 branches and cash offices and 527 ATMs across the country. Its international presence consists of 45 branches and offices in 16 countries across five continents from the Far East to the Americas.

Last year, another Middle Eastern bank, Emirates NBD, announced its blockchain trials in the trade finance space, conducted together with Infosys and ICICI Bank.


Ripple has started this year as it did the last one – with some notable deals and successes.

Just recently, Axis Bank became the first bank in India to sign up for its blockchain network for cross-border payments.

The bank, the third largest in the private sector, will use the network for real-time settlement as it targets future growth.

Amit Sethi, president and CIO at Axis Bank, says: “We will come out with solutions for our customers soon, but we don’t want to commit to any time frame.”