Emirates NDB, a leader in the regional banking industry, unveils the launch of “Cheque Chain”, a technological advancement that will embed blockchain technology into cheques to strengthen their authenticity decrease potential fraud. The implementation of the Cheque Chain initiative is scheduled for the second half of the year.
The first stage of the initiative will see the printing of the unique QR (Quick Response) code, on every page of newly issued cheque books, this way reducing risk of fraud. In the following phases, the QR code will register each cheque on the bank’s blockchain platform. It is essential in order to ensure that once the cheque is received and cleared under the bank’s ICCS technology, the bank staff will be able to verify the cheque’s identity and have its source accessible all the time.
In addition to that, a string of twenty randomly selected characters will be added on MICR band of the cheque page using non-MICR ink. The MICR band is a character-recognition technology used mainly by the banking industry to ease the processing and clearance of cheques and other documents. It is found at the bottom of cheques and other vouchers and typically includes document indicators like bank code, bank account number, cheque number, cheque amount etc.
The Cheque Chain initiative is the beginning of a significant strategy by Emirates NBD to integrate blockchain technology into existing products and services, with the objective to implement global-best digital security systems in line with the digitalization of its products, processes and services. Going forward, it will also be possible to validate the cheque at source either through self-service or at presenting bank using the QR code.
Abdulla Qassem, Group Chief Operating officer commented: “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. 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.”