Bank ABC has become the first Middle East bank to introduce faster cross-border payments to specific corridors for corporates and financial institutions using JP Morgan’s Coin Systems.

Coin Systems is a blockchain-based permissioned system that serves as a payment rail and deposit account ledger and sits within Onyx by JP Morgan.

The soft launch of the new payment service by Bank ABC follows close collaboration with the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB).

The CBB provided support across various aspects of the initiative including integrating and scaling the innovative blockchain-based solution within Bahrain’s payments landscape.

“After working closely with JP Morgan and Bank ABC over the past two years to experiment the execution of cross-border commercial transactions between Bahrain and the US, leveraging the JP Morgan Coin System, we are pleased to witness the soft launch of this innovative banking solution by a Bahraini-based bank,” said Central Bank of Bahrain Governor Rasheed Al Maraj.

“This initiative aligns with the CBB’s strategic vision to embrace innovation and digitalise the kingdom’s financial services sector by eliminating inefficiencies that exist in traditional cross-border payment railways, facilitating trade between Bahrain and the US, and thereby inducing economic activity. We commend Bank ABC on their commitment to enhance their banking offerings by leveraging advanced global technologies.”

Bank ABC Group CEO Sael Al Waary said: “As an international bank operating across five continents, Bank ABC Group is committed to introducing innovative products to our home market and across our wider network. Offering high-value cross-border payments via the JP Morgan Coin Systems service, allows us to reduce traditional settlement periods considerably as well as being more cost-effective for our clients. We remain steadfast as a key enabler of Bahrain’s vision for a digital economy. We would like to thank our partners the Central Bank of Bahrain for their commitment and leadership and JP Morgan for their leading role in advancing cross-border payments for banking services.”

Naveen Mallela, global head of Onyx Coin Systems, said: “Bank ABC has been one of the earliest adopters of the JPM Coin offering and we are delighted to launch the first of its kind commercial payment offering between JP Morgan and Bank ABC using distributed ledger rails. This enables cross-border commercial transactions to be executed between Bahrain and US corridors instantly, and with certainty.”

JP Morgan’s Coin Systems team seeks to help address the complex challenges of cross border payments, simplify clients’ liquidity funding needs, and offer next generation corporate treasury services. While the offering has been launched with USD and locations involving Bahrain, US, UK, Singapore, Hong Kong, additional locations and currencies, notably euro, are in the pipeline. Going forward with the planned introduction of programmable payment offerings, it will enable mutual corporate clients to leverage event driven and automated payouts enabling a dynamic and real time treasury management.

The launch of this service is part of Bank ABC’s comprehensive digital transformation programme, which serves to futureproof and diversify the bank’s proposition with the best available banking innovations.

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