Dubai International Finance Center (DIFC) and Mashreq Bank, the oldest privately-owned bank in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with over $2.2 billion in annual revenue, are trying to encourage other banks in the Middle East to take part in a blockchain-enabled know-your-customer (KYC) data sharing initiative. The first live transactions for supporting approved businesses and corporations have been carried out. The transactions were performed after opening digital banking accounts.
The platform has been developed by the DIFC-backed Fintech norbloc, and is now available to all of UAE’s banks and businesses.
Under the new project, DIFC will be preparing the appropriate KYC records which are required for the corporate or business license application. This information will be shared over a DLT platform with Mashreq Bank.
Norbloc has developed the blockchain platform, Fides, for this project. Gowling WLG helped with preparing the legal contracts, and Big Four auditing firm Deloitte assisted Mashreq Bank with the governance and program management tasks.
DIFC and Mashreq have established a framework in order to support the official launch of the DLT platform. The framework covers important requirements for achieving large-scale adoption by other industry participants interested in joining the ecosystem. Important aspects dealing with consortium governance, business and operating models have been established and must now be scaled.
Ahmed Abdelaal, CEO at Mashreq Bank, stated:
“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.”