UAE’s Emirates Islamic Bank Launches Blockchain Check Service

A trial that examines how blockchain could play a role in paper check management is moving forward at Emirates NBD.

AccessTimeIconJun 12, 2017 at 4:05 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 11, 2021 at 1:26 p.m. UTC

Emirates Islamic Bank, part of the wider Emirates NBD group, is formally integrating blockchain into its paper checks.

The launch of "Cheque Chain", announced today, comes months after Emirates NBD tested the feature in conjunction with the central bank of the United Arab Emirates. The banking group began testing the tech in a bid to reduce fraud.

As one of the largest financial groups in the UAE, the bank announced that it will issue new check books that "carry a unique QR code on every [check] leaf, along with a string of 20 random characters".

Suhail Bin Terraf, the bank’s chief operating officer, said in a statement that be believes that the Cheque Chain solution will reduce fraud in the market significantly.

“Blockchain has the potential to significantly increase security and protection in banking transactions and we are delighted to be among the first in the UAE to utilise this new technology,” he said.

The country is not new to bank check fraud. According to the Khaleej Times, an English media service that covers UAE news, at least two cases were reported last month. In one case, a 31-year-old Emirati banker was alleged to have used his authority at the bank to produce false money transfer forms and check in the name of a customer.

The detailed timeline of the project is unknown. But during the launch phase to come, the bank’s internal blockchain will be used to register each leaf so that it can “validate the authenticity of the [check] at source”, according to Emirates.

Check image via Shutterstock


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