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Qatar’s Commercial Bank pilots blockchain-based international money transfers

Published 13 April 2017

Qatar-based Commercial Bank has completed a pilot project that used blockchain technology to process internation money transfers.

The trial has been carried out with regional alliance banks ABank in Turkey, National Bank of Oman, and United Arab Bank in the UAE. 

Banks in Egypt and India have also participated in the pilot phase of using distributed ledger technology (DLT) to improve customer experience in the fields of international transfer and trade finance.

Using a cloud-based ledger technology, Commercial Bank has created a blockchain network with its regional alliance banks.

Commercial Bank CEO Joseph Abraham said: “Blockchain has huge potential to change the financial services sector and we are proud to be the pioneers in leading this change in Qatar by introducing yet another new technology to provide the best client experience for all our customers.”

The blockchain network improves automation between the banks, with enhanced transactional security, accuracy and speed.

Commercial Bank said that the network will also eliminate the need for intermediaries, allowing it to provide its customers near to real-time bank-to-bank transfers at a low cost.

To extend its blockchain network with banking partners and other countries, the bank plans to obtain the necessary approvals from Qatar Central Bank and other stakeholders.

Commercial Bank COO Samir El-Sheikh said: “This best in class technology was adopted by working in close cooperation with our regional alliance of banks. Blockchain allows us to enhance our client experience through creating efficiencies and reducing costs for international remittances and trade finance.”

To expand the use of blockchain technology beyond payments, the second phase of the project will focus on trade finance transactions.


Image: the second phase of the project will focus on trade finance transactions. Photo courtesy of Commercial Bank.