When it comes to implementing blockchain technology on a grand scale, countries such as Switzerland, Japan or the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are in a league of their own as innovators and early adopters of the technology. UAE has already gone ahead and used distributed ledger technology at several government-level projects and it seems this trend is poised to continue.
The biggest lender in Dubai, Emirates NBD, became one of the first banks worldwide to implement blockchain technology in issuing cheques to strengthen the security standards across the banking sector. The project dubbed “Cheque Chain” follows a pilot that was launched last year. According to the official statement, the pilot registered around 1 million checks in the first month of the trials. After such success, the Cheque Chain will be deployed to Emirates NBD customers across the country.
As the name suggests, the project is aimed towards money transactions handled with paper checks. Although forging them is not as easy anymore as it was for Leonardo DiCaprio in “Catch Me If You Can”, frauds still happen on a regular basis. The new system prints a QR code in every cheque leaf, issued by Emirates NBD, which is then recorded in the blockchain-powered platform. This allows bank employees to easily verify the authenticity of the cheque, as well as to have access to its source.
Abdulla Qassem, a COO of Emirates NBD claimed that “Emirates NBD is committed to exploring commercial uses for this innovative technology. After a successful pilot phase, we are pleased to roll out Cheque Chain to our customers nationwide, becoming the first bank in the region to offer this service. This initiative will significantly strengthen our risk and security management processes, particularly through the reduction of cheque fraud.“
The official recognition of the blockchain technology benefits by the largest bank in Dubai is already quite a significant achievement but innovation does not stop here. The bank has already announced plans to open Cheque Chain’s technology to collaborate with numerous other UAE financial institutions. Dubai retains its status as one of the global hubs for blockchain technology as the city has adopted it in industries, such as tourism or automobiles.
The banking sector also seems to have come to terms with blockchain technology as an ever-increasing number of banks implement it for a variety of operations, ranging from identity verification to data storage.
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