Online KYC checks help estate agents battle rising fraud
If you’re an estate agent supervised by HMRC for anti-money laundering purposes, you will need to meet the approval requirements and perform robust Know Your Customer checks (KYC) as part of your Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance. But the steady rise in property fraud over recent years, combined with a noticeable spike in cases during the pandemic makes vigilance more important than ever. Figures from fraud prevention service Cifas shows that mortgage fraud by production of false documents increased by 14% in the first six months of 2019, while a recent Board report from the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) stated that conveyancing fraud was the biggest single source of suspicious activity in 2020, worth a potential £200 million.
That’s why, in our article on Estate Agent Today, we take a look at how estate agents can conveniently comply with KYC and AML requirements without the money and resources available to larger organisations.
The article looked at the range of challenges facing estate agents when making KYC checks, including:
- how to conduct robust KYC checks while keeping up with changing requirements and managing limited resources
- how agencies can implement a fast, efficient and robust AML compliance procedure in these challenging times
Smaller estate agents may traditionally have relied on manual processes for KYC and AML checks but these can be time-consuming, inconsistent, and even based on outdated information. And of course, they are resource heavy and time consuming – especially if documents have to be received and returned by post.
A more modern and effective approach is to use an automated KYC service. Digitising checks and introducing technology is increasingly common. This is demonstrated by the new Safe Harbour standard, recently announced by HM Land Registry.
We believe that technology is no longer reserved for large businesses. Our KYC check service is designed to help agencies of all sizes to introduce automated KYC systems and carry out straightforward and affordable KYC checks online.
Our automated AML service can help you comply with the latest legislation, strengthen your identity verification and even improve the on-boarding experience for your customers. With our online AML platform, you can carry out KYC checks in minutes, making compliance simpler and giving your agency a consistent, robust process.
In our article, we acknowledge that investing in new services or technology during uncertain times can be risky. However, our KYC check service has a low minimum order volume and no long-term contract as well as modular features that you can add over time as your requirements change and pay-per-check pricing model that lets you scale up or down with your customer demands.
Remaining compliant with KYC and AML regulations will always be an issue – but thanks to new affordable technology, there are now alternative options for KYC checks that are convenient and robust, and accessible to agencies of all size.
In fact, smaller estate agents could arguably benefit the most from automated KYC checks, as they offer a quick and easy way to comply and therefore leave you more time to focus on renting and selling properties.
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