Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), Dubai-based Mashreq Bank and Norbloc (a DIFC-based fintech company), plan to launch the Middle East’s first blockchain know your customer (KYC) data-sharing consortium by 2020.

The initiative is in line with the UAE Blockchain Strategy that aims to complete 50 per cent of federal government transactions using blockchain technology by 2021. In a statement on 30 July, the three entities said the consortium aims to support businesses in Dubai.

“This initiative will facilitate faster, more secure onboarding and exchange of supporting documentation via advanced distributed technologies, including blockchain,” the firms said. “The programme also outlines the creation of a consortium agreement to govern the mutualisation of KYC efforts among future participating banks, government bodies, financial institutions as well as other licensing authorities to subscribe to the platform.”

The consortium says by Q1 2020, companies will be able to digitally create a single KYC record, which will be authenticated with electronic ID, to simultaneously share data with their various financial institutions.

This is expected to reduce the time required to acquire a bank account number for newly registered companies and the costly requirements of managing KYC data for already registered companies. While DIFC and Mashreq Bank will serve as inaugural members, the consortium will be open to all qualified financial institutions and licensing authorities.

The firms signed a memorandum of understanding to form the consortium in January 2019 with the strategic intent to create a platform serving banking sector clients in the UAE.

MEED
This article is sourced from Verdict Technology sister publication www.meed.com, a leading source of high-value business intelligence and economic analysis about the Middle East and North Africa. To access more MEED content register for the 30-day Free Guest User Programme. 

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