Emirates NBD announced the launch of ‘Cheque Chain,’ an initiative that will integrate blockchain technology into cheques to strengthen their authenticity and minimise potential fraud.

The Dubai-based bank plans to introduce the Cheque Chain initiative to its employees during the pilot phase, ahead of the customer roll later this year.

The first phase of the initiative will see the printing of a unique QR (Quick Response) code on every leaf of the newly-issued chequebooks, thereby reducing fraud by making it difficult to forge cheques.

In subsequent phases, the QR code will register each cheque on the bank’s blockchain platform, ensuring that once the cheque is received and cleared under the bank’s ICCS technology, the bank staff will be able to validate the cheque’s authenticity and have access to its source at all times.

Additionally, a string of 20 random characters will be added on the MICR (Magnetic ink character recognition) band of the cheque leaf using non-MICR ink. The MICR band, is a character-recognition technology used mainly by the banking industry to ease the processing and clearance of cheques and other documents.

“We are delighted to be the first bank in the country to utilise this remarkable new technology to strengthen and upgrade our internal processes. The launch of this initiative is also in line with our commitment to customers to prevent fraud and ensure the security and safety of their transactions at all times,” said Abdullah Qassem, Group Chief Operating Officer, Emirates NBD.