6 Banks to Launch the First KYC Blockchain Consortium in UAE

6 Banks to Launch the First KYC Blockchain Consortium in UAE

Dubai Economy, along with Emirates NBD, Emirates Islamic, HSBC, RAKBANK, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) and Commercial Bank of Dubai (CBD), has formed a consortium for sharing of verified KYC (Know Your Customer) data between banks and licensing authorities in the UAE.

Part of the strategic focus of Dubai Economy on enhancing ease of business in Dubai and supporting the smart transformation of the emirate’s economy, the ‘KYC Blockchain Consortium’ will facilitate a faster, more secure onboarding and exchange of digital customer data and documents through advanced blockchain-powered distributed technologies, a first of its kind in the region.

“Our strategic alliance with banks to launch the first KYC blockchain platform in the UAE is an important step towards continuing to attract investors to this market,”

His Excellency Ali Ibrahim, Deputy Director General of Dubai Economy said.

“The platform will offer a digital ‘Instant Bank Account’ functionality, allowing for faster and less cumbersome onboarding journey with banks and significantly improving the experience of new investors looking to establish themselves in the UAE. This in turn will boost customer satisfaction as well as ease of doing business in the UAE as a whole.”

His Excellency added that the initiative aligns well with the leadership’s vision and aspiration of improving the UAE’s global rankings in ‘Doing Business’ and ‘Competitiveness.’

“We are excited to onboard some of the leading banking institutions to establish what will eventually become a nationwide ecosystem and we invite other financial institutions and licensing authorities to join in this initiative.”

The Consortium will drive the mutualisation of KYC efforts among existing and future ecosystem participants on a common platform. The KYC platform will launch in the first quarter of 2020 at which point it will open for additional qualified financial institutions and licensing authorities to join. The future vision is for the Consortium-run ecosystem is to serve the greater good by improving ease of doing business as well as overall regulatory compliance in UAE. Smart Dubai in collaboration with the UAE Central Bank will play a pivotal role in overseeing and regulating the Consortium operations.

His Excellency Wesam Lootah, CEO of the Smart Dubai Government Establishment, said:

Wesam Lootah

Wesam Lootah

“Smart Dubai has made significant headway in its plans to embrace advanced technologies and tailor them into services that ensure better quality of life and higher levels of happiness for all of the city’s residents and visitors. Blockchain is a breakthrough of particular importance for us; we see in it tremendous potential to streamline services and operations, saving time, money, and resources for everyone involved – individuals, companies, or governments. It is due to this spirit the Smart Dubai Department has successfully delivered several projects and initiatives across all pillars of the Dubai Blockchain Strategy.

“Collaboration is a core tenet of the Strategy,”

HE Lootah added.

“We are happy to see a group of prominent and pioneering entities come together to establish the KYC Blockchain Consortium, bringing together respective datasets in a safe and secure manner to create a new and advanced service that helps investors and further improves ease of doing business in the UAE.”

KYC Blockchain platform

With the launch of the KYC Blockchain platform, authenticated and validated KYC data of companies will simultaneously be shared with financial institutions of their preference. This will expedite the opening of a bank account 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.

Through forming a consortium to launch the first KYC Blockchain Platform in UAE, Dubai Economy, Emirates NBD, Emirates Islamic, HSBC, RAKBANK, ADCB and Commercial Bank of Dubai have fully demonstrated their commitment and leadership to adopting innovative technologies with the objectives of better serving their customers and fulfilling regulatory obligations.

Featured image credit: Unsplash