Qatar-based Commercial Bank has carried out a pilot using blockchain technology to complete international fund transfers with partner banks and now plans to extend its testing to trade finance.
The bank says that it worked with Turkey's ABank, National Bank of Oman, United Arab Bank and other partners in Egypt and India to build a blockchain network using cloud-based ledger technology.
The network boosted automation between the banks, with increased transactional security, accuracy and speed, while eliminating the need for intermediaries, enabling Commercial Bank to offer its customers near real-time bank-to-bank transfers at a low cost, says a statement.
Following the successful pilot, Commercial Bank says that it is now working to get approval from the Qatar Central Bank to extend its blockchain network to other countries that have significant remittance business with the state, such as the Philippines, Nepal and Pakistan.
Meanwhile, the next stage of the pilot will also extending the blockchain technology beyond payments to include legal and trade documents. All trade finance transactions will be paperless, simplifying the process of exchanging purchase orders and invoices.
Joseph Abraham, CEO, Commercial Bank, says: "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."