Abu Dhabi-based Islamic lender Al Hilal Bank has enabled customers to conduct transactions through its ATM machines using the Emirates identity card (Emirates ID).
The initiative, which resulted from a partnership with Emirates Identity Authority (EIDA), marks the first time that Emirates ID cards will be used for ATM transactions in the UAE. A pilot project to test the viability of the scheme was also conducted prior to its launch.
Through the scheme, Al Hilal Bank has been authorised to access information such as name, passport number and nationality from the card to verify transactions at the ATMs.
“We value the role of technology in ensuring convenience and quality services to our clients, which is why we eagerly pursued our partnership with EIDA to come up with the ‘Your Emirates ID… Your New Debit Card’ project,” said Mohamed Jamil Berro, group CEO, Al Hilal Bank.
“We encourage our customers to avail of the benefits of using their identity dards in our national ATM network.”
The EIDA has seen rising interest among banks looking to adopt this scheme, a senior official said earlier this year.
“Since we announced that we are piloting the project about withdrawing money from the EID card, so many banks approached us and they all want to use the ID card,” said Ali Al Khouri, director general of the EIA.
Almost 10 banks have approached the authority to explore possibilities in using the ID card for financial transactions, he added.
Al Khoori ruled out any challenges in facilitating the use of ID cards at ATMs, describing the platform as “flexible and scalable” and said banks were also looking to upgrade their infrastructure to accommodate its use for financial transactions.
The official said increased use of the Emirates ID could stem identity theft in the region.
“The reason we have entered into this domain is not to just make the application of ID card more widespread but identity theft is becoming a global concern for private and public sectors while the costs are rising,” he said.
“So the focus of the Emirates ID is to ensure proper identity management and to ensure that we don’t have identity theft.”