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Emirates NBD integrates blockchain tech into cheques

Tuesday 2 May 2017 | 11:07 AM CET

Emirates NBD, a regional banking pioneer in blockchain technology, has launched Cheque Chain.

The new initiative will integrate blockchain technology into cheques to strengthen their authenticity and minimise potential fraud. The bank said the first phase of the initiative would see the printing of a unique QR code on every leaf of the newly issued cheque books, aiming to reduce fraud by making it difficult to forge cheques. The QR code will register each cheque on the bank's blockchain platform, ensuring that once the cheque is received and cleared under the bank's ICCS technology, the bank staff will be able to validate the cheque's authenticity and have access to its source at all times.

Additionally, a string of 20 random characters will be added on the MICR (Magnetic ink character recognition) band of the cheque leaf 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.

There will be a pilot phase, where bank’s employees will test Cheque Chain, ahead of the customer roll later in 2017.

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