In an economy that’s becoming increasingly global, financial institutions are now more vulnerable than ever before to criminal activity. Luckily, Know Your Customer (KYC) solutions exist to protect financial institutions against fraud, corruption, money laundering, terrorist financing and many more other associated risks.
What exactly is KYC?
KYC involves several different steps to:
- Review of the customer’s information: This means everything from collecting and verifying their full name, date of birth, address, ID number, to the verification of the customer’s original ID documents to identify any material changes
- Screen the customer against global and country-based watch lists and sanctions
- Reassessment of risk ratings in case of substantive changes in any ID documents (e.g. a different residential address)
- A periodic review of the customer’s transactions and comparison against forecasted account activity (this is generally performed via fully automated identity verification and screening tools)
- The detection of any potentially suspicious activities
Why is KYC technology so important?
Effectual KYC processes are essentially the backbone of any successful compliance and risk management programme – and the demands of meeting particular KYC obligations are certainly growing over time. With anti-money laundering (AML) and KYC compliance becoming more and more important in 2022, many companies are ploughing huge amounts of resources into their own KYC compliance processes.
Even though fintech’s and regulators alike have indicated a willingness to move towards standardised KYC requirements and align internal processes, there’s still more work to be done. A number of initiatives, both global and local, aimed at improving the process on a global scale have come and gone. Working through these challenges means companies need to take a proactive and collaborative approach to create real change.
So, what exactly does 2022 hold in store for the evolution of KYC technology?
Regulatory shifts that can’t be ignored
It’s predicted that in 2022, a new wave of KYC and AML focused regulations across the globe will begin to steer online companies in particular into safer standardisations. Making these implementations, however, will remain a pretty significant challenge. It’s predicted that many businesses will shift from taking a reactive approach to KYC, to instead implementing a more proactive regulatory strategy.
This means that companies are less likely to settle for a KYC provider that simply ‘box ticks’ when it comes to key regulatory checks. Instead, many businesses will be searching for KYC providers that go the extra mile to truly meet their operational needs. Whether this is through the maintenance of multiple verification flows for shifting regulations, mobile number verification, quick setup or enhanced automation requirements – all of these will get extra brownie points this year from users.
Skilled staff will matter even more
Although the finance industry is undoubtable heavily reliant on technology, the human element to this automation is still essential and two-fold. Firstly, hiring and training the right people for the job is key when it comes to keeping up the pace with the evolving skill standard of this industry.
Secondly, it’s important that the right technology is in place to enable your skilled workers to spend their time on areas that add real value. Thousands of KYC analysts are employed to mostly gather data for reviews. Automating this particular process frees up these key employees and means they can be re-allocated to an area that makes better use of their knowledge and expertise.
A culture of KYC compliance will be key
Without a real drive for change, compliance will stay a reactive and ultimately ineffective process. Expecting the old ways of working to be able to combat emerging methods of financial crime is simply never going to work. In 2022, regulators are set to place a far greater focus on personal accountability for senior leadership when it comes to upholding a culture of compliance within their companies.
For KYC technology to really grow and succeed in 2022, compliance organisations need to return to the start and rebuild their approach from the ground up before implementation can begin.
Technology and Automation
It is no secret that technology is key for a successful approach to KYC compliance. Digital identity verification, intelligent data protection, centralised document repositories and registries are becoming trusted technology solutions when it comes to automating compliance processes.
Reducing any error-prone, manual methods will allow your teams to be more proactive in fighting financial crime through the use of an effective KYC solution. Not only does integrating KYC solutions reduce errors, by eliminating the manual process, friction is reduced during onboarding creating a better overall user experience.
How TMT Analysis can implement KYC Verification for your business
The recent explosion in online usage has not surprisingly been accompanied by a similar explosion in online fraud, so can you trust the phone number that you have been given to be accurate and belong to the person they say it does?