Dubai’s Department of Economic Development Launches UAE KYC Blockchain Platform
Dubai Economy (Dubai Department of Economic Development or DED) and Emirates NBD, a leading banking group in the MENAT region (Middle East, North Africa, and Turkey), have declared the go-live of the UAE KYC Blockchain Platform.
The project is defined as an initiative that promotes secure digital consumer onboarding, instant bank account functionality, and sharing of verified KYC data between licensing authorities and financial institutions through blockchain technology. The initiative is being powered by Sweden based norbloc blockchain KYC technology, according to a release.
First declared in February 2020, the KYC platform is stated to be assigned as a nationwide ecosystem for the exchange of verified KYC data. The blockchain project is backed by Smart Dubai and the Central Bank of UAE, which play a critical regulatory role in the initiative. Additionally, the Commercial Bank of Dubai, ADCB, HSBC, and RAKBANK are planning to go live with the service very soon.
Omar Bushahab, CEO of Business Registration and Licensing Sector at DED, said they are very pleased to declare that the UAE KYC Blockchain Platform is now production-ready with over 120 companies onboarded.
“This is one of the initiatives that contribute to Agenda Number One of Dubai Model, which focuses on improving customer experience,” said Bushahab. “This marks a key milestone in establishing a UAE-wide ecosystem for KYC data sharing and instant digital onboarding of companies by financial institutions. It is in alignment with the government’s vision around digitization and paperless as crucial strategies that enable continuation and sustainability, especially during these challenging times, further enhancing ease of doing business in the country.”
Bushahab stated that Emirates NBD is the first banking group to go live on the platform with its initial use case covering E20, its digital business bank. The next milestone will be the go-live of Emirates NBD’s additional use cases. “We are also in advanced discussions with a second wave of financial institutions and free zones to further expand the initiative, and we welcome the remaining financial institutions and free zones to join this effort,” added Bushahab.
According to DED, with the launch of Phase I, the organization has transferred all active trade licenses onto the blockchain platform, symbolizing over 40% of all active trade licenses in the UAE.
In addition to getting new leads to open bank accounts, participating financial institutions can leverage the blockchain platform to pull data of their consumers and get real-time updates made to their customer data. Abdulla Qassem, Group Chief Operating Officer of Emirates NBD, said they are thrilled to be the first banking group in the UAE to associate and go-live with Dubai Economy on the UAE KYC Blockchain platform.
“Emirates NBD is a leading supporter of home-grown SMEs and start-ups who are key contributors to the UAE economy. We are proud to announce our first live use case, which enables SME customers to open accounts instantly through our E20. Digital Business Bank app. With multiple use cases covering both Emirates NBD and Emirates Islamic, this pioneering solution aligns with our shared commitment of making banking simpler for our customers, enabling them to focus on their business.” Astyanax Kanakakis, CEO of norbloc, stated the UAE is one of the world’s first countries to achieve a blockchain-based ecosystem for data sharing.