MENA-based financial institution Mashreq has introduced Electronic Facial Recognition (EFR) for its wholesale banking clients. The move enables large corporate banking clients to open bank accounts without the need for a physical signature.
For UAE-based wholesale banking clients of Mashreq, the process of opening an account is now fully digital and paperless. Clients can now use a web-based account opening journey to enter their information and upload mandatory documentation.
All information sent to Mashreq is automatically scanned and read by its systems to minimise data entry. Once the application is reviewed and completed, any signatories with valid Emirates IDs can also use their mobile phones to upload their specimen signatures and provide consent using electronic facial recognition.
EFR is a five-second live video feed that authenticates the user by leveraging the UAE Ministry of Interior database.
“Instant digital consent… from anywhere in the world”
Joel Van Dusen, group head of corporate and investment banking at Mashreq, discussed the need for the introduction of EFR.
Van Dusen explained: “Mashreq’s vision is to enable innovative possibilities with a seamless experience for our clients, which is exactly what this solution offers. Even in 2023, some banks continue to ask for over 50 signatures on hundreds of pages to open a corporate account.
“We, on the other hand, are very proud of our journey: In 2022, we introduced the one-page account opening form and reduced the number of signatures required from 50 to one. In 2023, we have eliminated the wet signature altogether.”
Rania Nerhal, chief client experience and conduct officer at Mashreq, also commented on the freedom and flexibility the new feature offers its banking clients: “While many retail banks offer digital technology and solutions to retail banking customers, the same is often missing for wholesale banking clients.
“Mashreq is amongst the first banks to solve this and offer such a customer-friendly solution to signatories of wholesale clients. In such large corporations, signatories are high-profile individuals who travel frequently, and that used to lead to delays in account opening because signatories would be out of the country.
“With our EFR solution, they can provide instant digital consent for account opening from their home, office, or anywhere in the world. And the entire process also takes only two minutes.”