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A digital approach to KYC is going to be essential for companies as new regulations make greater demands of compliance officers.

The new oversight environment will require compliance processes that are scalable, dynamic, current and comprehensive, characteristics that automation can provide and manual systems will be increasingly unable to match.

Many companies have seen the signposts and are making that transition, adopting new regulatory technologies that will enable them to meet the new requirements. Many more, however, have yet to begin that journey.

Common concerns voiced by companies include that the challenge of change will be disruptive, costly and time-consuming. For many, there is still an element of resistance to change. It’s not unusual for executives to report to us that they think compliance is simply a matter of going to the local registry and looking up the relevant document. They’re labouring under the illusion that the whole process is going to cost no more than the cost of retrieving a couple of documents.

But they’re missing the point.

Compliance means adhering to a complex set of rules that go way beyond the simple check of an individual’s files. This would be all but impossible to manage manually, and for an illustration of why, we can look at how Know Your Customer’s automated compliance solution works.

Uniquely, our case management solution pulls together all the essential elements of the process at the pre-deal stage, comprehensively searching millions of companies across multiple jurisdictional registries. Our proprietary software retrieves the necessary documents to identify ultimate beneficial owners (UBO) and controlling individuals, such as directors and company secretaries, and then then links them into a KYC organizational chart from which we can execute all checks and searches. These include an extensive range of AML and fraud screenings, scouring sanctions and anti-terrorism lists, as well as seeking out politically exposed individuals.

Importantly, it will then create triggers that allow this information to be rerun over and over again in a live and dynamic system, which can then be monitored by smartphone.

The cost of translating that process into a manual one would surprise any company that’s considering sticking to their old systems. It demands a huge investment of time, effort and other resources.

And those demands are only going to become greater. Key new pieces of regulation, including AMLD4, PSD2 and GPRR will require companies to pay strict and continual attention to their KYC obligations – feats that would be almost impossible under a paper-based system. Our solution provides for that, ensuring that companies are prepared and compliant at all times.

That will be one of the key requirements of the new regimes, a point underlined by the stiffer penalties that will be levelled for non-compliance.

The demands of imminent new regulations are occupying compliance officers’ minds. The annual gathering of compliance professionals, the Association of Anti-Money Laundering Specialists, in London later this week has set its sights on the meeting these new challenges (#ACAMSEurope).

With such a spotlight on change in the industry, it’s an apt time for companies to consider changing their processes too.

Know Your Customer’s automated compliance solution is built to enable companies to do just that.

Through our cloud-based service we can help clients compress the time it takes to gather documents, arrange that information, interrogate, satisfy and pass clients for onboarding, as well as monitor ongoing compliance obligations without needing to commit to costly human resources.

As we’ve shown, the benefits of our automated process are obvious at the pre-deal stage. For both individual and company KYC, our technology can condense the time-consuming document and data retrieval process long before we even get to the nuts and bolts of checks and clearance.

Last updated on May 9th, 2023 at 09:58 pm

Claus Christensen

Claus Christensen is the CEO & Co-Founder of Know Your Customer. His vast array of previous experiences includes founding a technology company that develops email server infrastructure products for 60,000+ global customers and serving as VP Electronics at Thielert Aircraft Engines. A regular contributor to leading industry publications and a recognised expert in the anti-money laundering and financial regulation space, Claus is also the host of the RegTalks podcast and a senior lecturer of the Centre for Finance, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CFTE)’s RegTech Course.