Published on August 1st, 2015 | by Varuna Singh


Mashreq and EIDA partner to allow banking via Emirates ID

This week, Mashreq and Emirates ID had a special announcement. In this announcement, the much acclaimed and competitive Mashreq bank is the first to allow its customers to do regional banking with their Emirates ID Card. I say regional because as of today, Emirates ID can only do local regional transactions (e-commerce and traditional Commerce).

But this is still an achievement for Mashreq as they are the first bank to have it implemented and working. Here’s a demo:

With Emirates ID and a Mashreq bank account you don’t have to take your multiple credit and debit cards with you. In-fact just use your emirates ID to pay for your commute in the country. The services compromises of: Cash withdrawal, utility and international bill payment (unique to Mashreq), deposits and update personal information.

“UAE has an ambition to create the world’s foremost smart community”

The Emirates Identity Authority (EIDA) manages all things ID related, announced over a 15 months back in May 2014 and let the banks to actually implement the solutions. Mashreq bank emerged as the most eager making it the first to implement this integration. H H Abdul Aziz Al Ghurair CEO of Mashreq and his team demonstrated how the bank has always been eager to try to implement new technologies. “By partnering with the Emirates Identity Authority, we will provide our customers with the latest innovations in banking technologies that are in line with the UAE’s vision of establishing a nation-wide digitally smart infrastructure. These additional services will ensure even higher standards of efficiency and security allowing for a much easier and smoother banking experience for the customers” he commented.

The Director General of Emirates Identity Authority, H H Dr. Saeed Abdullah Al Ghafli talked to media about the vision behind this move. “We share Dubai’s Smart City vision, and as a partner in that vision, are continually looking for ways to make life easier and more efficient for our customers. Digital infrastructure like our new EIDA feature will help to facilitate that, in the process transforming the way we live our everyday life- the first step in the shift towards a smart ecosystem” he commented.


So, should you be excited?

If you have multiple bank accounts and cards, Emirates ID can technically be the only card you need to carry. Emirates ID aims to be more than just an identification card. It doesn’t necessarily aim to replace your existing card, but it makes your life “easier” since you do not have to carry multiple cards for multiple scenarios. Your Emirates ID is more ambitious than you might think. It wants to be your e-Gate, your bank card, your driving license on top of being the regional’s de-facto identification card.

“Streamlining identification procedures”


Mashreq @mashreqtweets and @emiratesiduae are going to soon announce banking with Emirates Id #myDubai A photo posted by (@techviewme) on

Mashreq has even gone a step further and now only accepts Emirates ID to identify you. You no longer need to bring both your passport and Emirates ID to start with various formalities. This is a trend that EDIA hopes other companies accept to make process beyond banking easier. We might be moving to a point where you would only need one card to verify, open accounts and take loans.

Whats the catch?

Currently in “Phase 1” of the roll-out you are limited in making regional transactions only. Which means if you are travelling, you still need your old-fashioned bank card. In-fact if you want to buy something that’s not based in the country (e-Commerce), you would need your bank card. The ideal scenario is day-to-day outings within the city.

The service while not mandatory for both banks and users, can add value to the day-to-day lives be it going out to eat or opening up new relationships with companies and the government.
You can only use the card in Mashreq ATMs. You will not be able to use your emirates ID to withdraw cash from other ATMs across the region. While Mashreq has over 200 ATMs, other banks will need to get on the bandwagon to enable this. According the EDIA and Mashreq this would not require a revamp of existing ATM kiosks. In-fact the change is mostly software and it’s really the intention of other banks to do this.


That, in essence, is what this week’s event was all about. It was about Mashreq’s eagerness in bringing the integration out. It was about introducing this to residents and citizens such that the industry moves in this direction. A direction still directed by big corporations and government.

The banking sector is evolving in the region. It is reaching a point where there are more services regionally to take your money. Security is as important as we move to a smart connected life.

Emirates ID Cashfree
What Emirates ID Authority has is a very secure card that is able to link to many endpoints. With the Emirate’s smart government initiative a lot of services are automated and your Emirates ID is your private key to all these experiences.

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About the Author

I work with technology in Education. I also write stuff. I love design and people. @varunasingh

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