File photo: Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) in Dubai. DIFC and Mashreq on Sunday announced a blockchain data sharing platform to support licensed businesses and corporates opening digital bank accounts instantly. Image Credit: Gulf News Archives

Dubai: Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and Mashreq on Sunday announced a blockchain data sharing platform, now live in production, to support licensed businesses and corporates opening digital bank accounts instantly.

A consortium was formed in July 2019 between DIFC and Mashreq as part of the initiative known as Know Your Customer (KYC), along with the DIFC incubated FinTech firm, norbloc.

DIFC and Mashreq took a strategic decision to harness this promising technology by focusing on a specific use case to enhance both the quality and integrity of corporate KYC information.

The platform is now live and available to all UAE-based corporates and banks. DIFC and Mashreq take the recent KYC consortium announcement forward and announce the region-first live connection, built on the same chosen platform norbloc Fides.

In a recent move Dubai Department of Economic Development’s Competitiveness Office, six banks and various licensing authorities formed a KYC consortium for sharing of verified KYC data between banks and licensing authorities in the UAE.

Paperless KYC

The new ‘KYC blockchain consortium’ will facilitate a faster, more secure on-boarding and exchange of digital customer data and documents through advanced blockchain-powered distributed technologies, a first of its kind in the region.

The KYC platform by DIFC and Mashreq is now ready and open to all licensing authorities and financial institutions in the UAE. The platform will make it easier and faster for new companies to do business in the UAE, removing existing paper-based KYC processes.

Arif Amiri

“This initiative provides financial institutions and businesses a platform in order to seamlessly undertake operations. “We place a high importance on strategic collaboration with industry-leading financial institutions as part of our commitment to Emirates Blockchain Strategy 2021,” said Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer, DIFC Authority.

This first-to-region digital account-opening product for businesses and corporates provided through partnership between DIFC and Mashreq comes with great potential of using blockchain technology.

Ahmed Abdelaal

“The program aligns with the UAE 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 seamless sharing of customer KYC data, thus leading to increased transparency, added security and a better customer experience,” Ahmed Abdelaal, CEO of Mashreq.

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