Qatar private bank Commercial Bank has completed a pilot using blockchain technology for international fund transfers in partnership with banks in Turkey, Oman, the UAE, Egypt and India.

The next phase of the testing will specifically focus on using blockchain in trade finance transactions, the bank says. This will involve extending the technology to include legal and trade documents, enabling all transactions to go paperless, creating efficiencies and reducing costs for international remittances and trade finance.

The pilot is, according to the bank, the first in Qatar to use ledger technology for fund transfers.

Commenting on the announcement, Commercial Bank CEO Joseph Abraham says: “Blockchain has huge potential to change the financial services sector and we are proud to be the pioneers in leading this change in Qatar by introducing yet another new technology to provide the best client experience for all our customers.”

Commercial Bank will now seek the necessary approvals from the Qatari central bank and other stakeholders to extend its blockchain network. The hope is to use the technology to develop payment corridors in countries like the Philippines, Nepal, Egypt, Pakistan and the UAE, the bank says.