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Digital KYC checks combined with human expertise – the best way to protect your business

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What is a digital Know Your Customer (KYC) check and is it important?

We are living in a digital age. Smart phones, smart speakers and connected devices are everywhere, and connected to all aspects of our lives. So, if you are working in a profession that requires you to comply with UK anti-money laundering (AML) regulations, you need to consider the impact of digitalisation – both on money laundering and on its prevention.

In terms of the risks of money laundering, technological advances have presented new opportunities for fraudsters to create convincing forged identities – from creating fake accounts under stolen identities to stealing online accounts already in use. Our experience over the last few years has shown that fake identity documents are now more commonly presented and harder to spot.

On the flip side, technology has also brought significant improvements to compliance processes, including KYC checks for AML compliance. Today, electronic verification brings together a range of robust checks, including confirming the authenticity of identity documents and checking that identity against secure data sources which are almost impossible to duplicate.

The benefits of combining human expertise with electronic KYC verification

Historically, many smaller businesses have relied on inspecting physical documents as the foundation of their KYC checks. Many have always done it that way, and early AML regulations did not clearly specify electronic validation as a ‘reliable and independent’ source of information. However, the 5th Anti-Money Laundering directive states clearly that electronic validation can be used exclusively as a means of ID verification.

At a time when consumers are becoming much more accepting of remote on-boarding and verification, digital validation has become a more straightforward and streamlined way of protecting your business from fraud and demonstrating your AML compliance. The good news is that while more advanced solutions (like AI-based transaction monitoring and big data) may only be accessible to large corporations due to the investment and infrastructure they require, electronic KYC verification technology is becoming increasingly accessible to smaller businesses.

Smaller businesses often have close relationships with customers, and can intuitively spot red-flags, inconsistencies, and discrepancies with transactions. However, all businesses, large or small, can benefit from using digital technology to counter fraudulent identities presented to facilitate money laundering. A digital check removes the human bias and uncertainty when assessing whether a document is genuine and belongs to the person presenting it. Combining the digital element with human expertise provides the most robust protection.

How can TrustID help?

At TrustID we believe that a combination of human expertise and digital KYC identity checks, based on government-issued identity documents, is the best way to verify identity. Our service is built on a foundation of AI and machine-based verification, but it is backed up by the best document analyst team in the business. By combining our document expertise and market- knowledge with our industry-leading technology, we offer a definitive response and the best protection against fraudulent documents.

For many organisations, technology alone cannot provide an answer – it can only give information, which needs to be combined with human common-sense, expertise and intuition. One major advantage of using automated KYC, however, is the potential to run multiple checks from one system. For example, you can check applicants against politically exposed persons (PEPs) and sanction lists, both at the time of on-boarding and on an on-going basis to monitor for changes.

An affordable, scalable, practical AML solution

AML compliance matters. Whether you’re an accountant, a solicitor, or an auctioneer, you are obliged to take all reasonable measures to prevent criminals from laundering the proceeds of their illegal activities. But, of course, you need to find a way to carry out KYC checks that is affordable and practical – so you can continue with your core business operations without disruption. That’s why we created our pay-per-use KYC service.

TrustID’s digital KYC service gives you access to the latest technology and the best experts in the business with no upfront cost and no long-term commitment.

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Want to find out more?

If you’d like to discuss how remote identity checks could support your AML compliance, please get in touch. We’d be happy to arrange an online demo.

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