National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) has partnered with blockchain payments company Ripple to launch real time, cross-border payments based on blockchain technology.

NBAD said that Ripple’s Distributed Financial Technology fits within the bank’s existing infrastructure and offers transaction immutability.

The bank added that the solution will offer its customers end-to-end visibility of the transaction process and facilitate instant fund transfer to beneficiary accounts in a cost-effective way.

NBAD managing director and head of global transaction banking Vineet Varma said: “We’re always exploring new ways to enhance our customers’ experience.

“With blockchain, we hope that we could address the needs of our customers and drive forward more efficient and flexible service. Embracing technologies like Blockchain is a step in right direction for our customers.”

Several other banks including Santander, Standard Chartered and UniCredit have previously joined forces with Ripple. NBAD is the first bank in the Middle East to use Ripple’s technology.

Ripple CEO Brad Garlinghouse said: “Banks and their customers have been hearing about the promise of blockchain technology to enable real-time cross-border payments. Now, some of the most innovative and successful banks like NBAD are making this a reality by offering Ripple-enabled payments to their entire customer base, and in doing so, paving the way to make 2017 the year we see broad commercialization of blockchain take hold globally.”