The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has formed an alliance with the region’s Mashreq Bank and Swedish fintech, norbloc, to create a consortium for sharing know-your-customer (KYC) data via blockchain-based technology. The consortium will support businesses and corporates in Dubai, with the platform due to go live in early 2020 and other members being announced in the coming months.
“This announcement is truly a watershed moment. Our growing consortium will cultivate an ecosystem in the UAE that will set the global standard for how KYC data should be shared,” said Astyanax Kanakakis, CEO of norbloc.
Initially norbloc’s blockchain-powered ecosystem will enable secure, customer-controlled KYC data sharing between DIFC and Mashreq Bank only. But in time qualified banks, government bodies, financial institutions and other licensing authorities will all be able to subscribe to it. This aims to provide a secure platform, using advanced distributed technologies, on which different financial institutes can exchange and share documentation safely and quickly.
Companies that subscribe will essentially be able to digitally create a single KYC record (which will be authenticated with electronic ID) to simultaneously share data with other financial institutions.
“Investing in blockchain technology will greatly improve the customer onboarding and compliance experience, making the entire process unified as well as hassle-free,” said H.E. Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair, CEO of Mashreq Bank. “Emerging technologies such as blockchain also represent significant opportunities for banks in the UAE and wider region to create new revenue streams, which will in turn drive sustained business growth over the long-term.”