Bahrain based ABC bank after two years of piloting, J.P. Morgan’s Coin Systems, a blockchain based permissioned system that serves as a payment rail and deposit account ledger and sits within Onyx by J.P. Morgan has gone live with the blockchain payments solution.

Prior to this ABC bank had been piloting GCC region’s first blockchain based cross border instant payment solutions as well as CBDC project with the Central Bank of Bahrain. In 2020 The Central Bank of Bahrain collaborated with J P Morgan and Bank ABC in a pilot scheme to introduce instantaneous cross border payment solution leveraging state of the art technology and digital currency. The pilot was successfully completed in 2022. 

As such the soft launch of the new blockchain payment service by ABC Bank, is in close collaboration with the Central Bank of Bahrain.  The Central Bank of Bahrain has supported the project by integrating and scaling the blockchain payments solution within the Kingddom’s payments landscape.

On this occasion, His Excellency the Governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain, Mr. Rasheed AlMaraj, stated, “After working closely with JP Morgan and Bank ABC over the past two years to experiment the execution of cross-border commercial transactions between Bahrain and the U.S., leveraging the J.P. Morgan Coin System, we are pleased to witness the soft launch of this innovative banking solution by a Bahraini-based bank.  This initiative aligns with the CBB’s strategic vision to embrace innovation and digitalize 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. We commend Bank ABC on their commitment to enhance their banking offerings by leveraging advanced global technologies.”

Mr. Sael Al Waary, Bank ABC Group CEO, said: “As an international bank operating across five continents, Bank ABC Group is committed to introducing innovative products to our home market and across our wider network. 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. We remain steadfast as a key enabler of Bahrain’s vision for a digital economy. We would like to thank our partners the Central Bank of Bahrain for their commitment and leadership and J.P. Morgan for their leading role in advancing cross-border payments for banking services.”

Naveen Mallela, Global Head of Onyx Coin Systems, said “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.”

While the offering has been launched with USD and 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, it will enable mutual corporate clients to leverage event driven and automated payouts enabling a dynamic and real time treasury management.