The Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) has become the first bank in the UAE to perform instant and highly secure verification using Facial Recognition before opening a new customer account, in line with the digital objectives of the country’s government.

Utilising the Ministry of Interior’s (MOI) Facial Recognition verification system, ADIB will be able to perform ‘instant and highly secure verification’, leveraging a ‘seamless’ and ‘efficient’ process to enhance the bank’s security measures against fraud and identity theft.

“Together with MOI, we are enabling for the first time in the UAE, residents to open an instant digital account in a secure and seamless way,” commented Sameh Awadallah, Head of ADIB’s Branch Network.

“The use of facial recognition system is 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 bank.”

The technological development will allow UAE citizens to open ADIB bank accounts remotely, granting them instant access to banking services without the need to visit the bank.

Prospective account holders can use the facial recognition system service vai the ADIB mobile banking app. Customers must take a personal photo, scan their passport and press the Emirates ID card on the device, causing the app to read data from the built-in chip using Near Field Communication (NFC).

“We are pleased to work with ADIB to provide digital solutions that enhance the digital agenda of the UAE,” added Lt. Colonel Dr. Ahmed Saeed Al Shamsi, Head of the Artificial Intelligence Systems and Services Development Team at the General Directorate of Security Support, UAE Ministry of Interior.

“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. We look forward to building more impactful services with the financial sector and beyond, to bring greater convenience to UAE residents.”

Lt Colonel Dr Al Shamsi continued, highlighting how the MOI is cooperating with all government institutions and ministries as well as the private sector to develop the Facial Recognition Technology and disseminate it.

These actions are in line with the directives of the UAE Cabinet, with the aims of facilitating customer procedures and enhancing the quality of digital life in the UAE.

Facial Recognition software continues to be leveraged by a range of actors across the payments and fintech sectors, with the technology making its debut in Southeast Asia earlier this year, being leveraged by OCBC Bank for ATM usage in Singapore.