Bahrain’s Bank ABC has launched instant blockchain payments with J.P. Morgan’s Coin Systems marking the first time a bank has introduced the payment service in the Middle East

Launched in partnership with the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), the bank is aiming to make cross-border payments faster and less complex, particularly for corporates and financial institutions.

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

His Excellency the Governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain, Mr. Rasheed AlMaraj, said: “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 U.S., and thereby inducing economic activity.”

While the offering has been launched with USD and in 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, the service is expected to enable mutual corporate clients to leverage event driven and automated payouts resulting in real time treasury management, the bank said.

Mr. Sael Al Waary, Bank ABC Group CEO, said: “Offering high-value cross-border payments via the J.P. Morgan Coin Systems service, allows us to reduce traditional settlement periods considerably as well as being more cost-effective for our clients.”

Naveen Mallela, Global Head of Onyx Coin Systems, added “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 J.P. Morgan and Bank ABC using distributed ledger rails. This enables cross-border commercial transactions to be executed between Bahrain and US corridors instantly, atomically and with certainty.”


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