Abu Dhabi: The Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) and the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) have been awarded the Global Impact Award by Central Banking Magazine for their work on 'Project Aber'.
As a proof-of-concept Project Aber aims to explore whether distributed ledger technology (DLT) could enable cross-border payments between the two countries by relying on a dual-issued digital currency as a unit of settlement between banks in the two countries and domestically. The objective is to help address pain points faced in cross-border payments, particularly in reducing transfer time and costs.
Implemented during 2020 with the active participation of a number of commercial banks from the UAE and Saudi Arabia, the results confirm the possibility of using a digital currency issued by two central banks to settle payments, whether locally or across borders, by relying on an infrastructure based on DLT.
“Expanded digitalisation of financial services is one of our primary focus areas. Alongside the Saudi Central Bank, we initiated Project Aber to issue a joint central bank digital currency,” said Khaled Mohamed Balama, Governor of UAE Central Bank.
The CBUAE and the Saudi Central Bank published the results of Project Aber in late 2020.