Emirates NBD and VisionLabs Partner for Contactless ID Verification - Identity Review - Identity Review | Global Tech Think Tank

In the COVID-19 era, old in-person KYC methods are out and new contactless solutions leveraging biometrics are in. Emirates NBD, a banking group in the MENAT (Middle East, North Africa and Turkey) region, announced that they are partnering with VisionLabs B.V. and Smart Engines to streamline the account creation process via contactless ID verification. The new technology is named the TruID solution.

How It Works

“Our mobile account opening service is being increasingly used by customers to open a new account instantly from their smartphones and this new verification solution ensures a more secure and robust process,” said Suvo Sarkar, Senior Executive Vice President and Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management at Emirates NBD.

When new customers want to open a new bank account using the Emirates NBD Mobile Banking App, they can now use the app to “scan” their documents. The app uses NFC technology to read in information via chips embedded in the documents. The verification process is completed after the customer uploads a selfie to verify their identity.

Customers outside Emirates NBD bank. Source: Arabian Business

Customers outside Emirates NBD bank. Source: Arabian Business


A Leader in Digital Banking

In following the trend of banks increasingly turning toward contactless verification, Emirates NBD strives to be a leader in digital banking innovation. Nikita Arlazarov, Chief Financial Officer at Smart Engines, said: “Entering the Middle East market with Emirates NBD is an important milestone for us and I thank them for their trust in us. Not only were we able to support and fine tune data extraction for region-specific ID types, we have also developed a technology for Arabic character recognition in the process.”

While the milestone is significant, it belies a long planning and development process. “The technical evaluation and product launch planning takes us back three years from now and it was not an easy one. I think we were the right match for Emirates NBD in both the overall quality and maturity of the product as well as the experience with the successful service to more than 500 banks globally,” commented Anton Nazarkin, International Development Director at VisionLabs B.V. “Please remember that face biometric data is just one piece of a puzzle in the Digital ID aspect…a proper system design is not an easy one, requiring significant investment from the customer side when possible risks of service launch or failure to launch are high enough to keep out of this idea at all.”

“I am proud that VisionLabs has become a part of the bank’s technology stack and would like to thank the Emirates NBD team for their efforts in creating this next generation banking solution with us,” Nazarkin said.


Lydia You is a computer scientist from Princeton University living in New York City. She is a Tech Innovation Fellow at Identity Review covering the intersection of global tech policy, internet culture and the future of digital media.

Contact Lydia You at lydia@identityreview.com.

Do you have information to share with Identity Review? Email us at press@identityreview.com.

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