The Region’s First Blockchain Know Your Customer Data Sharing Consortium

The Region’s First Blockchain Know Your Customer Data Sharing Consortium

Dubai International Financial Centre and Mashreq Bank are partnering with norbloc, a leading Know Your Customer (KYC) and client onboarding fintech regionally headquartered in Dubai,  to launch the region’s first production-ready blockchain KYC data sharing consortium in Q1 2020 to support businesses and Corporates in Dubai.

In line with the UAE Blockchain Strategy 2021, the alliance entered into a MoU in January 2019 with the strategic intent to create a first-to-market platform serving banking sector clients in the UAE. This market-leading initiative will facilitate faster, more secure onboarding and exchange of supporting documentation via advanced distributed technologies, including blockchain.

The Program also outlines the creation of a Consortium Agreement to govern the mutualization of KYC efforts among future participating banks, government bodies, financial institutions as well as other licensing authorities to subscribe to the platform.

The alliance under a Tripartite Agreement has determined the optimal business framework and technical architecture to support the requirements of registered companies, financial institutions and regulators alike following a thorough and joint ‘Proof of Concept’, with the intended results further validating the positive impact of such an ecosystem. As a result, norbloc’s enterprise-grade, blockchain-powered ecosystem will be the first in the region to enable secure, customer-controlled KYC data sharing, initially between DIFC and Mashreq Bank.

By Q1 2020, companies will be able to digitally create a single KYC record (which will be authenticated with electronic ID) to simultaneously share data with their various financial institutions. This will accelerate the time required to acquire a bank account number for newly registered companies and reduce the burdensome and costly requirements of managing KYC data for already registered companies. This is in stark contrast to the status quo, whereby multiple paper-based KYC files are redundantly originated and managed in silos.

While DIFC and Mashreq Bank will serve as inaugural members, the consortium will be open to all qualified financial institutions and licensing authorities. The future vision is for the consortium-run ecosystem to serve the greater good by improving the ease of doing business as well as uplifting customer due diligence standards in the UAE.