06 April, Dubai
• For exchange of KYC data between licensing authorities and financial institutions
• Dubai Legal Affairs Department (LAD) to play a pivotal role in assisting Dubai Economy and DIFC in formalising the legal framework for the unified platform
• The founding consortium members include Emirates NBD, Emirates Islamic, Commercial Bank of Dubai, HSBC, ADCB, RAKBANK and Mashreq Bank.
Dubai, 6 April 2021: Dubai Economy and Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Authority have signed an agreement to consolidate efforts and expand the UAE KYC (Know Your Customer) Blockchain Consortium positioning it as the national corporate e-KYC Platform, making it the first such platform in the region. It will facilitate faster, more secure and streamlined customer onboarding and allow sharing of verified e-KYC data between licensing authorities and financial institutions through advanced distributed technologies.
The founding Consortium Members include Dubai Economy, Dubai International Financial Centre, Emirates NBD, Emirates Islamic, Commercial Bank of Dubai, HSBC, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank, RAKBANK and Mashreq Bank. The first phase went live in 2020 and more entities have joined since resulting in the platform holding close to 50 per cent of corporate e-KYC records in UAE.
“This pioneering blockchain initiative demonstrates the rapid advancements in technology implementation made by Dubai Economy to facilitate and improve the ease of doing business in the Emirate of Dubai and across the UAE. The Government of Dubai Legal Affairs Department is proud to be one of Dubai Economy’s key strategic partners on this first-of-its-kind initiative for the region where we have provided and continue to provide legal support to Dubai Economy in their consolidation efforts with DIFC and the formation of the Consortium Agreement for the UAE KYC Blockchain Consortium,” His Excellency Dr. Lowai Mohamed Belhoul, Director General of the Government of Dubai Legal Affairs Department, said. “The ability to support this blockchain initiative demonstrates our continuing endeavour to keep pace with the progress achieved by Dubai and to provide expert legal services on niche, complex and rapidly evolving areas of law in line with international best practice, embodying the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai”.
“Dubai Economy is focused on strengthening our digital economy and the launch of the UAE KYC Blockchain Platform in partnership with our key banking partners is a testament to our ambitions to transform Dubai into a global investment destination. Following its launch in 2020, the platform has become increasingly crucial not only in simplifying the procedures for opening bank accounts for investors, but also in enabling banks to digitally receive verified KYC data. This initiative has a positive impact in attracting business and on the global ease of doing business ranking of Dubai and the UAE,” said Abdulla Hassan, CEO, Corporate Support Sector, Dubai Economy.
“By sharing our experiences with DIFC, we will continue to work to enhance the ease of doing business in Dubai. This further complements the Invest in Dubai (IID) Portal announced by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, which provides an exceptional experience for investors to discover opportunities, and secure business licence in a seamless manner through one integrated platform. The UAE KYC Blockchain Platform supports the vision of the Invest in Dubai (IID) Portal by facilitating instant opening of bank accounts for investors. A significant number of financial institutions and licensing authorities have decided to onboard the platform and we welcome others to be part of this success story,” added Abdulla Hassan.
Alya Al Zarouni, Executive Vice President of Operations at DIFC Authority, said: “DIFC has been at the forefront in positioning Dubai as the leading business destination in the region since its inception 16 years ago. We are looking forward to working with Dubai Economy to share best practices so we can collectively advance Dubai’s digital economy. Implementing a nationwide e-KYC solution will make it easier for new businesses to open accounts easily when they set up operations in the UAE and supports our leading position in the region for managing privacy and data protection to the highest international standards.
“The global finance community holds Dubai and DIFC in high regard for our commitment to innovation, which includes driving the future of finance through emerging technologies such as Blockchain. DIFC has already had success in this area having been the first to launch a one-click blockchain solution that shared verified data with a banking partner so clients could get a corporate account opened quickly, efficiently and safely.”
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