Posted on April 08, 2017

Commercial Bank, Qatar’s first private bank, is the first bank in Qatar to introduce a new innovative technology in fund transfer to create an enhanced client experience in the fields of international transfer and trade finance.

Commercial Bank has successfully completed the initial pilot phase using the first ever blockchain network to process international transfers in partnership with its regional alliance banks ABank in Turkey, National Bank of Oman, and United Arab Bank in the UAE,  in addition to other banks in Egypt and India. Commercial Bank created a blockchain network with its regional alliance banks using a cloud-based ledger technology. This network enhances automation between the banks, with increased transactional security, accuracy and speed. The blockchain network also eliminates the need for intermediaries, enabling Commercial Bank to offer its customers near to real-time bank-to-bank transfers at a low cost.

Following the successful testing of the pilot phase, the Bank will begin to obtain the necessary approvals from Qatar Central Bank and other stakeholders to extend Commercial Bank’s blockchain network with banking partners and other countries with high remittances corridors such as the Philippines, Nepal, Egypt, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates to form closed networks for cash. The second phase of the project will also focus on trade finance transactions, extending the blockchain technology beyond payments to include legal and trade documents. All trade finance transactions will be paperless on the blockchain network, simplifying the process of exchanging purchase orders and invoices by eliminating lengthy international paper trails and verification through trade intermediaries.

Commercial Bank CEO Joseph Abraham said: “Commercial Bank is renowned for bringing to market leading technologies  in Qatar’s banking industry and this blockchain pilot project for international remittances represents another ‘first to market’ digital innovation by Commercial Bank. 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.”

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.”