The UBF is a not for profit organization representing 50-member banks operating in the United Arab Emirates. The UBF addresses prevailing market challenges faced by member banks by innovating solutions that enhance governance standards and legal frameworks, and encouraging the adoption of banking best practices. It also plays a fundamental role in raising public awareness about the distinctive financial, economic and social contributions of banks.
During the meeting, the council discussed new ways to accelerate the digital transformation of banks in the UAE in the face of increased disruption from emerging technologies.
AbdulAziz Al Ghurair, Chairman of UAE Banks Federation, said that as part of their efforts aimed at creating and sustaining a thriving banking ecosystem, they have undertaken a number of initiatives and new endeavors, such as the adoption of blockchain into KYC process.
Aref Al Ramli, chairperson of UBF’s Digital Banking Committee, Senior VP, Head of Digital Banking and Innovation at Mashreq Bank, presented the Digital Banking Committee study about blockchain during the meeting. The study explores opportunities for creating an industry standard to digitize various processes within member banks, and the potential functions that can be leveraged by the technology, including client onboarding, cross-border transfers, payments, and compliance reporting, among several others.
Participants also discussed the country’s national digital transformation program and Emiratization, an initiative to employ its UAE citizens in a meaningful and efficient manner in the public and private sectors.
“With advancements in technologies continuing to shape customer needs and expectations, it has become all-important for the banking industry to be at the forefront of innovation,” Al Ghurair said. “The emerging technologies also present new opportunities for banks to create new revenue streams, which will in turn drive sustained business growth.”