Officials from Ministry of Interior and Mashreq bank at the headquarters of the bank announcing the new facial recognition service on Tuesday Image Credit: Ali Al Shouk/Gulf News

Dubai: UAE residents can now open a bank account without the need to visit the bank by using facial recognition technology.

The new service is provided by Mashreq bank in cooperation with the Ministry of Interior (MOI), which has provided the facial recognition verification system of UAE residents.

Mashreq NEO, the full-service digital bank from Mashreq Bank, said on Tuesday that it will enable residents to conveniently open a bank account using facial recognition technology in just three minutes.

Open an account in three minutes
Download the app
Scan the Emirates ID by tapping it to the smartphone
Confirm details
Take a selfie
The account will be opened, and the debit card will delivered to their doorstep

New customers of Mashreq NEO will be able to access banking services by simply scanning their Emirates ID and using their face as their primary authentication method, eliminating the need to visit a bank branch, as well as making the process more secure.

Verification and approval

Lieutenant Colonel Dr Ahmed Al Shamsi, Head of the Artificial Intelligence Systems and Services Development Team at the General Directorate of Security Support at MOI, said the bank will use the facial recognition technology provided by MOI to verify the new customer in order to get the approval and open a bank account with Mashreq NEO.

At a press conference held on Tuesday at Mashreq Bank headquarters, Lt Col Al Shamsi said: “We are keen to develop our relations with all national institutions to benefit from modern technologies and the distinguished infrastructure of the UAE Government. This aims to achieve the directions of the UAE government and the vision of UAE wise leadership in enhancing the quality of life of the Emirati community by providing modern and updated services that meet the needs of customers.”

Safeguarding against fraud

He said the bank will use the technology to validate and authenticate the rightful holder of the official document in real time against government databases to safeguard against fraud. “This process, in turn, enables customers to open their new accounts securely and seamlessly.”

Fernando Morillo, Senior Executive Vice President, Group Head of Retail Banking, Mashreq Bank, said: “Capitalising on the latest facial recognition technology, our customers’ identities will be verified instantly through artificial intelligence, thus providing our customers with a convenient and seamless experience without compromising on their data security.

Morillo added: “The solution builds on the UAE’s leading digital agenda, and at Mashreq, we see biometric technologies such as this playing a larger role going forward, as customers look for safe but convenient ways to conduct their financial transactions.”