Mashreq Deploys Electronic Facial Recognition to Allow Online Bank Account Onboarding

Visa, Mashreq Team On UAE SMB Onboarding

Mashreq has launched electronic facial recognition (EFR) technology to facilitate the onboarding of large corporate clients.

With the implementation of this technology, UAE-based large corporate banking clients can open bank accounts in an entirely paperless onboarding process, Mashreq said in a Wednesday (July 5) press release.

“While many retail banks offer digital technology and solutions to retail banking customers, the same is often missing for wholesale banking clients,” Mashreq Chief Client Experience and Conduct Officer Rania Nerhal said in the release. “Mashreq is amongst the first banks to solve for this and offer such a customer-friendly solution to signatories of wholesale clients.”

In Mashreq’s onboarding process that includes the new technology, eligible wholesale clients input information, upload mandatory documentation and then — once the application has been reviewed by the bank — use their cellphone to upload their specimen signature and provide consent using EFR technology, according to the release.

Some banks continue to ask for more than 50 signatures when opening a corporate account, Mashreq Group Head of Corporate and Investment Banking Joel Van Dusen said in the release.

“We, on the other hand, are very proud of our journey,” Van Dusen said in the release. “In 2022, we introduced the one-page account opening form and reduced [the] number of signatures required from 50 to 1. In 2023, we have eliminated the wet signature altogether.”

Facial recognition use cases are expanding across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region amid growing demand, PYMNTS reported in December.

The concept of unlocking a smartphone with facial recognition has been around for several years, and a growing number of banking and payment apps have also enabled facial biometrics as a method of identity verification.

For example, retailer Carrefour said in February that it has teamed up with Network International and biometric technology firm PopID to launch the latter’s Face Pay verification platform in the UAE.

Consumers can enroll for the service online via the Carrefour mobile app or website. Then, when visiting Carrefour’s stores in Deira and Amsaf, they can pay for their items by smiling at a payment terminal.