UAE-based banking institution Emirates Islamic announced that it is the first Islamic financial institution to have introduced blockchain technology into its cheques, as a measure to prevent frauds.

Emirates Islamic has named this initiative as ‘Cheque Chain’, which is aimed at enhancing the security in one of the popular payment methods.

The bank will introduce new cheque books to its customers, which will feature a unique quick response (QR) code on every leaf, along with a string of 20 random characters.

The bank also plans to introduce, in the next phase of the Cheque Chain project, a system where each and every cheque will be registered onto the bank’s block chain platform to validate the authenticity of the cheque at source.

Emirates Islamic chief operating officer Suhail Bin Tarraf said: “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.

“We anticipate that Cheque Chain will dramatically reduce cheque frauds in this market helping us provide our customers greater peace of mind and security.”

Bin Tarraf continued saying: “Emirates Islamic is making deeper investments in digital technologies to enhance and improve the banking experience, as part of our commitment to support the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai in making Dubai the global capital of Islamic economy. We are confident that our efforts will be well received by our customers and partners.”

In January, a report by Accenture and McLagan, which is part of Aon Hewitt, stated that blockchain technology could cut infrastructure costs for eight of the world’s 10 largest investment banks by an average of 30%, translating to $8bn to $12bn in annual cost savings for those banks. 

Image: Emirates Islamic to integrate blockchain technology into cheques. Photo: Courtesy of Serge Bertasius Photography/