Saudi Arabia has joined the international payments project mBridge to facilitate cross-border payments and use wholesale central bank digital currencies.

The Saudi Arabian Central Bank Authority (SAMA) said that joining the international digital platform mBridge as a full participant will speed up and facilitate cross-border settlements between financial institutions from different jurisdictions.

“SAMA is actively exploring the potential of wholesale central bank digital currencies to assess the possibility of their use in expanding the geography of cross-border payments, as well as providing cheaper, faster, inclusive and transparent transactions in the supply of crude oil and petroleum products,” SAMA commented.

As a reminder, the mBridge project was launched in 2021 by the innovation division of the Bank for International Settlements, the Bank of Thailand, the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates, the People’s Bank of China Digital Currency Institute and the Hong Kong Monetary Authority.

In February, the United Arab Emirates and China conducted their first cross-border CBDC transaction totaling $13.6 million using the digital dirham and digital yuan.