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Emirates NBD introduces blockchain tech in cheques

By using the QR codes printed on cheque, Cheque Chain is able to prevent fraud.

Abdulla Qassem, group COO, Emirates NBD.
Abdulla Qassem, group COO, Emirates NBD.

Emirates NBD, a UAE-based banking group, has recently launched Cheque Chain, a new platform that utilises blockchain technology to improve authenticity detection and minimise the threat of fraud.

Currently in a pilot phase that will be followed by customer roll out later in the year, the first step of the new implementation sees the printing of Quick Response (QR) codes on every leaf of newly issued cheque books.

Following this, the QR codes will be registered on the bank's blockchain platform and will be cleared on the bank's ICCS technology. This will allow bank employees to validate the cheque's authenticity and access the source at any time.

Cheque Chain will also employ a string comprised of 20 random characters, which will be added onto the Magnetic ink character recognition (MICR) band of the cheque leaf. This will aid in the processing and clearance of cheques and other documents.

Commenting on the launch, Abdulla Qassem, group COO, Emirates NBD said: "Having established our leadership in the UAE banking sector in exploring the potential of blockchain technology, we are delighted to be the first bank in the country to utilise this remarkable new technology to strengthen and upgrade our internal processes. The launch of this initiative is also in line with our commitment to customers to prevent fraud and ensure the security and safety of their transactions at all times."

He added: "Cheque Chain will bring an added layer of security to our cheque clearing system, and ensure that each cheque issued will be verified under the bank's system with its own unique QR code providing significant improvement in cheque security."