The financial industry’s KYC process is becoming more demanding, even driving business decisions. Ensuring the company works with legal people or businesses is crucial when opening a bank account, registering for internet service, or investing in the financial markets. This is where the KYC (Know Your Customer) process comes in.
What is KYC?
Know your customer (KYC) is verifying the legitimacy of a customer’s identity. The KYC process prevents identity theft, data breaches, money laundering, and other financial crimes. KYC process safeguards companies from doing business with customers who are involved in any kind of corruption or illegal activities. It also allows businesses to get a better understanding of their customers’ businesses, which is a valuable insight for financial institutions. It improves the customer’s trust and confidence by treating confidential data with care and using it properly.
Kyc is a risk-based approach. By comparing the data obtained from customers with the referenced data, the company will decide whether they are doing business with the entity. And when customers pass the KYC checks, a risk rating is assigned to them that categorizes them as either high-risk or low-risk customers.
Who Needs KYC?
Any business requires KYC when onboarding a new client or when an existing client acquires a product. KYC is mandatory for all businesses that involve money in transactions, primarily banks and other financial institutions. The following institutions need KYC to protect their operations.
- Credit unions
- Lenders and lending platforms
- Investment firms
- Broker-dealers and asset management firms
So, any illicit activity in the financial sector affects not only the business but also the customers involved. Therefore, customer due diligence must be performed as part of the KYC process for politically exposed persons (PEPs) with connections to the politician.
Traditional KYC Process
The KYC process steps start with the collection of information from customers, including name, address, date of birth, and identification number. If related to an individual’s business, then the name of the business owner, the company’s address, the national security number or company number, and so on.
After gathering data, the collected data was then cross-matched with publicly available information from open sources. If similarities are found between the data given and the referenced data, the person can get access to the company’s services or products. Otherwise, the application will be rejected and reported to the regulatory authorities. The objectives of data verification are
- To identify if an individual is not involved in any criminal activity
- Screening the person against watchlists, or sanction lists
- Inspect those companies or individuals suspected of taking part in bribery or money laundering
- Identify the politically exposed people
Benefits of the KYC Process:
The KYC process is mandatory in all financial sectors before accessing the company’s products. It has a number of advantages in the financial sector, some of which are listed below
Money laundering, terrorist financing, and other types of unethical financial activity are all strongly discouraged by KYC. It checks the users before granting access, making it more difficult for hackers to misuse the system.
Compliance with Regulations:
Meeting the end-to-end KYC process ensures that the business is complying with other regulations such as anti-money laundering (AML) or counter-terrorism financing (CTF). It helps organizations avoid penalties and legal allegations that can ruin their reputation.
Improved Business Decisions:
Properly conducting digital kyc enables businesses to make good decisions based on their customer’s risk profiles and potential threats.
Boost Confidence And Trust:
A stringent KYC process fosters trust and confidence in customers that their data is safe with the company.
The KYC process verifies the customer’s identity and risk assessment. Based on the risk assessment, customers’ risk profiles are generated. High-risk customers require enhanced due diligence, while low-risk customers require standard due diligence.
Smooth Customer Onboarding:
By streamlining all the steps and data, KYC provides smooth customer onboarding that enhances the customer’s experience.
In today’s digital era, the KYC process is essential. By knowing their customers, businesses can mitigate risks and comply with legal regulations. The significance of KYC will keep rising as new technologies are developed, and new problems are encountered, influencing the development of secure and transparent financial transactions in the future.
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Last Updated on August 30, 2023