ADIB adopts facial recognition for account opening; First in UAE

By Amirtha P S, Desk Reporter
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Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB), the emirate’s biggest Sharia-compliant lender, has partnered with the UAE’s Ministry of Interior (MoI) to allow customers to open accounts remotely and digitally through facial recognition.

With this partnership, ADIB secures access to the Ministry’s Facial Recognition verification system and becomes the first bank in the UAE to perform instant and highly secure verification before opening a new account.

The move comes in line with digital transformation initiatives of lenders across the globe after disruptions caused by COVID-19-driven restrictions. The new service by ADIB helps to verify the account opener’s identity details by using the MoI facial recognition system. The verification process is seamless, efficient and uses enhanced security measures against fraud and other forms of identity theft.

The technology will enable UAE citizens and residents to open a new ADIB account remotely giving them instant access to banking services without the need to visit the bank.

Commenting on this partnership, Mr. Sameh Awadallah, Head of ADIB’s Branch Network, said, “The use of facial recognition system is a key step for ADIB towards the implementation of emerging technologies based on Artificial Intelligence (AI). Thus, in line with UAE’s digital agenda, we have been introducing digital solutions over the years that provide a convenient and more seamless way to the bank.”

Lt. Colonel Dr. Ahmed Saeed Al Shamsi, Head of the Artificial Intelligence Systems and Services Development Team at General Directorate of Security Support, UAE Ministry of Interior, said, “We are pleased to partner with ADIB to provide digital solutions that enhance the digital agenda of the UAE. This is in line with the Ministry of Interior’s efforts to enhance the efficiency of services, as well as support UAE banks in strengthening the security and safety of their digital services against threats of cybercrime.” 

Open an account with a selfie 

To open an account, UAE residents have to download the ADIB mobile application and follow the instructions by simply taking a personal photo, scanning the passport and tapping the Emirates ID card on the device for the app to read its data from the built-in chip using Near Field Communication (NFC). 

The tool will scan the user’s face, which will be matched against the ministry’s facial recognition system instantly. Upon successful matching, ADIB will send an SMS-OTP to the user’s registered mobile number for verification, after which the user may create his/her preferred credentials.

Related: UAE’s ADIB & India-based unite to improve customer services