Emirates NBD, Dubai's biggest bank, has become the first to successfully go live at scale with "Cheque Chain", a blockchain technology project that aims to cut cheque-related fraud.
Following a successful pilot last year overseen by Emirates NBD Future Lab, the bank said it is now rolling out its security-enhancing technology for the benefit of customers across the UAE.
The initiative, which integrates blockchain technology into issued cheques to strengthen their authenticity, will also significantly enhance security standards across the UAE banking sector, the bank added in a statement.
Cheque Chain enables a unique Quick Response (QR) code to be printed on every leaf of newly issued cheque books. The unique code registers each cheque on the bank's blockchain platform, ensuring that once the cheque is received and cleared under the bank's ICCS technology, bank staff can validate the cheque's authenticity and have access to its source at all times.
Abdulla Qassem, group chief operating officer, Emirates NBD said: "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."
In its first month, the bank said it registered close to one million leafs using blockchain. It is now exploring the possibility of opening its blockchain platform to collaborate with other UAE financial institutions.