Saudi British Bank (SABB) has launched an instant cross-border transfer service powered by Ripple, according to a news release on April 25.

The bank said the technology, unveiled at the Financial Sector Conference in Riyadh on April 24 and 25, formed part of its “strategic plan towards digital transformation and enriching customer experience.”

According to SABB, it was one of the first banks in Saudi Arabia to join Ripple’s network in January 2018. The technology was then successfully activated through a pilot transaction in December 2018 using Indian rupees.

Majed Najm, the bank’s deputy managing director of corporate and institutional banking, said the platform will deliver quicker and more transparent cross-border payment services. The rupee is the first currency to be available through the platform, and SABB plans to add both more countries and currencies in the future. He added:

“This step is part of the bank's ongoing efforts to provide the best banking services to customers, make use of the latest technology and global banking products available, and create methods and means to save time and effort for our customers.”

Last September, SABB became the first Saudi bank to join a blockchain ecosystem operated by R3, an enterprise software firm and global banking consortium.

On April 24, Ripple revealed that it sold XRP worth $169.4 million in the first quarter of 2019 — a 31 percent increase on the final three months of 2018.