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Saudi Central Bank joins mBridge for better cross-border payments

By Zhou Lanxu | | Updated: 2024-06-09 15:00
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This undated file photo shows an exterior view of the People's Bank of China in Beijing, capital of China. [Photo/Xinhua]

Saudi Arabia has joined mBrideg - a central bank digital currency (CBDC) initiative for international trade - as a full participant, which experts said may set the stage for wider local currency payments for oil trade between China and Saudi Arabia.  

Aiming to build a robust and innovative cross-border payments infrastructure, Saudi Central Bank (SAMA), Saudi Arabia's central bank, said on Wednesday that it has joined the mBridge project as a participant in the minimum viable product or MVP platform.

Project mBridge was launched in 2021 by the Bank for International Settlements' innovation arm, the Bank of Thailand, the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates, the Digital Currency Institute of the People's Bank of China, and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.

The mBridge project has, according to a BIS announcement, now reached the minimum viable product or MVP stage, inviting private sector firms to propose new solutions and applications that would help develop the platform and showcase all its potential.

Experts said the MVP stage means that the mBridge project is now available to commercial banks in the six participating members for actual cross-border payment use, marking a breakthrough for the project in facilitating cross-border payments using CBDCs.

While the Saudi Central Bank is joining as the sixth "full participant" of the mBridge project, the BIS said more than 26 official entities – including the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and the European Central Bank – have signed on as observers.

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