Thanks to this new tool, it would be possible to improve the experience of the users, by allowing them to open a bank account quickly and easily.

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and Mashreq bank announced the launch of their new blockchain data-sharing platform, which would be the first one of this type in that region and even in the Middle East. This platform would benefit the operations of global businesses.

This initiative is known as Know Your Customer (KYC) and it will work along with the DIFC Financial Technology (FinTech) firm, Norbloc.

In this way, the objective is to support licensed businesses and corporations opening digital bank accounts instantly by verifying their identities through a blockchain platform, as the official website of the Dubai International Financial Centre explained.

Before this development, the process was done manually. Now, Mashreq removes the existing paper-based Know Your Customer procedure and replaces it with a blockchain-based digital process.

How Does It Work?

DIFC and Mashreq took a strategic decision to focus on improving both the quality and integrity of KYC corporate information by automating this important step that allows them to carry out the process.

Besides, with this new tool, they would contribute to improving the customer experience by opening a bank account and, in this way, facilitating the processes that allow doing business in DIFC.

According to the official information, DIFC prepares each new KYC record as part of a company’s corporate license application. Then, with the customer’s consent, this information is shared electronically with Mashreq through the blockchain platform.

Thanks to blockchain, this is a simplification of the traditional process that companies carried out when opening a new bank account. Now, Dubai’s blockchain KYC platform will make it easier and faster for new companies to do business in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Besides, according to DIFC’s statement, the FinTech firm Norbloc provided the blockchain platform, Gowling WLG drafted the legal agreements, and Deloitte supported Mashreq with governance and program management.

“The program aligns with the United Arab Emirates Blockchain Strategy 2021, earmarking the beginning of a journey towards a broader vision of forming a Consortium of Banks, Government Bodies as well as other Licensing Authorities, for sharing customer KYC data without problems, thus leading to increased transparency, added security, and a better customer experience”, Ahmed Abdelaal, CEO of Mashreq, explained.

The DIFC is one of Dubai’s independent free-zones. It offers companies 100 % ownership of their businesses without the need for a local partner. Among other benefits for companies is that the DIFC’s legal framework emphasizes on data protection whilst maintaining practices that are consistent with all European Union (EU) regulations and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) guidelines.

The United Arab Emirates is taking advantage of different blockchain projects such as the digitized trade project known as the “Digital Silk Road”, or a document exchange platform known as the “Bank Trust Network”.

Now it has this new platform to store information and facilitate international trade so this would bring more benefits for the country.

By María Rodríguez


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