Digital Identity and e-KYC Guidelines for the Arab Countries

Recommendations for Arab countries for developing their Digital ID and Electronic Know Your Customer programs

This study was produced within the Arab Regional Fintech Working Group mandate, which enhances the exchange of knowledge and expertise, strengthening the capacity building of the Arab regulators, as well as building a network of peer to peer between Arab and international experts from the public and private sectors to promote fintech industry and the development of innovation. 

With the intention of understanding the development of Digital ID and Electronic Know Your Customer (e-KYC) programs among the Arab countries, a questionnaire was circulated to the Central Banks of the Arab Countries. Based on the findings of the survey, it is noted that Digital ID system is still in nascent stages, though there are systems in most countries for a government issued national identity system. Most countries are still following physical KYC structure with face-to-face interactions (or equivalent) and physical documents being the basis for client on-boarding and verification models.

The study covers the fundamentals of digital identification, lessons learnt from previous experiences globally and the status of local developments. Based on the findings of the survey, a range of action items have been suggested for Arab countries to consider and adopt.

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