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Dubai’s DIFC, Mashreq Bank launch bank account opening with KYC blockchain platform

Dubai’s DIFC, Mashreq Bank launch bank account opening with KYC blockchain platform

The platform will make it easier for new companies to do business in the UAE, removing existing paper-based KYC processes

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and Mashreq bank have launched a blockchain data-sharing platform to expedite the digital bank accounts opening facility, it announced today.

The KYC platform, that builds on the consortium formed between DIFC and Mashreq bank in July 2019, is available to all UAE-based corporates and banks, a statement said.

The platform will make it easier and faster for new companies to do business in the UAE, removing existing paper-based KYC processes.

The digital account opening product for businesses and corporates provided through this partnership will leverage blockchain technology. DIFC prepares the KYC record during the corporate license application, which is shared electronically via blockchain with Mashreq, with customer approval, easing the bank account opening process.

DIFC-incubated fintech firm Norbloc provided the blockchain platform (Fides), Gowling WLG supported the drafting of the legal agreements, while Deloitte supported Mashreq with governance and program management, the statement said.

Given that the platform is a scalable solution, DIFC and Mashreq have also conceptualized a framework on key principles that would facilitate large-scale adoption by other participants.

Key elements surrounding consortium governance (ownership structure, oversight, decision making process), business model (participation criteria, commercial model) and operating model (technical considerations, operating guidelines, change management, data confidentiality, dispute management, liabilities and indemnities etc.) have been prepped for scaling purposes.

Meanwhile, DIFC and Mashreq have called on other banks and licensing authorities to join the ecosystem.

“This initiative provides financial institutions and businesses a platform in order to seamlessly undertake operations,” said Arif Amiri, chief executive officer, DIFC Authority.

“As we enter a new period of growth and expansion, our core focus on fintech and blockchain are major steps on our journey towards transforming the future of finance.”

“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,” said Ahmed Abdelaal, CEO, Mashreq.

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