A customer using his Emirates ID card at the AT M at Al Hilal Bank in Abu Dhabi on Thursday. Image Credit: Abdul Rahman/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: A positive response from bank customers to use their Emirates ID cards as ATM cards proves the UAE’s residents’ keenness to adopt latest technologies without any apprehension, a senior bank official told Gulf News on Sunday.

Hundreds of customers of Al Hilal Bank have started using Emirates ID card as Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) cards to withdraw cash from ATMs, which proves UAE residents’ trust in modern technology, said Mariam Al Ahli, Head of Corporate Communications at Al Hilal Bank.

Since the bank introduced this service on September 7, more than 8,000 customers have registered their ID cards with the bank to use them as ATM cards, she said. “Every day more people are registering for this service.” The bank has 84,000 customers and 22 branches in the UAE and three in Kazakhstan.

Al Hilal Bank is the first bank in the country to use Emirates ID cards as bank cards.

As Gulf News reported earlier, a trial had proved that Emirates Identity Authority’s (EIDA’s) digital infrastructure was ready to roll out this service and it was up to the financial service providers including the banks to utilise this opportunity for their customers, according to Dr Ali Al Khoury, Director-General of the authority.

Mariam said: “This is part of the transformation of the entire nation to a digital society and people are positive to this change!”

Customers can easily register for this service at the bank’s ATM machines and they can continue using the same PIN (personal identification number) of their ATM card for the ID card, she said.

“While using ATM, they are asked whether they would like to use ID card as ATM cards and they can simply register at the machine.”

Customers do not need to visit any branch nor require any other formalities.

She said currently customers can only use Al Hilal Bank ATMs with ID cards. They can check the account balance and withdraw cash, request an account statement, chequebook and link their accounts with the ID card. Once a customer’s accounts are linked with the ID card, he or she can transfer money between their accounts, using ID card.

“At this stage the ID cards cannot be used at the ATMs of other banks or point-of-sale terminals to purchase goods and services.”

Customers can retain their ATM cards wafter registering their ID card for banking service. The service is optional and customers need not use their ID card for banking.

She said customers’ keenness to use the ID card as ATM card proves their trust in the UAE’s digital infrastructure. The system efficiently protects the identity and financial data of the customers, Mariam said.

The Emirates ID chief said the EIDA cannot access the financial data of customers after bank cards are integrated with ID cards.

An ATM card or credit does not carry any financial data of the customer but identification details of customer only, to ascertain his or her identity, Al Khoury said.

What a bank card does is identifying the customer at an ATM or a credit card terminal and link him or her to the financial data stored in bank’s system.