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Dubai Economy and six banks launch KYC Blockchain Consortium

Image by Michaela Loheit from Flickr

Thu, 20 Feb 2020, 08:57 am UTC

Dubai Economy and six other major banks have teamed up to launch a Know Your Customer (KYC) blockchain consortium, Dubai-based publication Gulf News reported.

Participating banks include Emirates NBD, Emirates Islamic, HSBC, RAKBank, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank (ADCB) and Commercial Bank of Dubai (CBD).

The KYC Blockchain Consortium aims to facilitate the sharing of verified KYC data between banks and licensing authorities in the United Arab Emirates. The objective is to secure and expedite on-boarding and exchange of digital customer data and documents using blockchain-powered distributed technologies.

“Our strategic alliance with banks to launch the first KYC blockchain platform in the UAE is an important step towards continuing to attract investors to this market,” said Ali Ibrahim, Deputy Director General of Dubai Economy.

“The platform will offer a digital ‘Instant Bank Account’ functionality, allowing for faster and less cumbersome onboarding journey with banks and significantly improving the experience of new investors looking to establish themselves in the UAE.”

The initiative will help facilitate the mutualization of KYC efforts among participating organizations. The KYC platform is slated to launch in the first quarter of 2020 and allow authenticated and validated KYC data of companies to be simultaneously shared with financial institutions of their preference.

In addition to expediting customer onboarding, the platform is also intended to improve the ease of doing business as well as overall regulatory compliance in UAE going forward. Smart Dubai, the government office charged with facilitating the country’s city-wide smart transformation, will collaborate with UAE Central Bank in overseeing and regulating the consortium operations.

The consortium will be open for additional qualified financial institutions and licensing authorities.

Meanwhile, Dubai Multi Commodities Centre (DMCC), a government entity established in 2002 to enhance commodity trade flows, has partnered with Al Khaleej Sugar and a Universa Blockchain to develop a blockchain-based sugar trading platform. Last month, it had announced its plans to establish "Crypto Valley" in Dubai.

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