tik tok news

Legal Challenges Against TikTok for Breaching Child Privacy Policy

TikTok, the most trending social media application in the present times is facing legal actions for violating the UK’s child protection policies. They have been sued by a 12-year old girl from the UK. The girl, whose identity remains anonymous, has been given Anee Longfeild’s support, who is England’s commissioner for child protection. According to the commissioner, the app violates the UK and EU laws.  

The girl has been granted anonymity by the court to avoid cyberbullying by the influencers or users of the app. BBC reports that it is hoped the case will be taken to the court which will result in improved data privacy policies of the minor by the app. The case will require the deleting of the application’s data of the minors.

 TikTok collects data for the purpose of advertisement. However, the majority of the user base of the app is of teenagers. According to a report by The New York Times, one-third of the TikTok users are 14-year-old minors. This is not the first time the app has been penalized for violating data protection policy. In 2019, FTC fined $5.7 million for violating the privacy laws of the USA regarding minor protection. After this lawsuit, the app was forced to take down the videos of children under the age of 13. A separate section was created for the use of minors only. 

TikTok has been under strict scrutiny by the US and a ban has been proposed by the presidential body which is yet to materialize. TikTok’s privacy policy states that they only ask for limited information like name, username, password, and birthday. However, the rest of the data can be collected from the device including the IP address, country-level location, ID, and app activity etc. 

The app’s privacy policy has changed in January 2020 which states in detail how the user data will be shared. Enza Iannopollo, privacy analyst at Forrester said, “When you have a child accessing a digital tool, there are unique concerns for the data to be actually stored and tracked, different regions might define children’s age differently. Some countries will say 16, others will say 13.”

She also added that whatever the age of the child is, parental or guardian consent must be required to use the application.

data security

Data Security at Risk Due to the Fake Lending Apps

Gained network access, pictures, and contact information are at threat due to the fake lending apps that is now an increasing cause of stolen data. Government, as well as regulators, have cracked down on fake digital lending apps and have discovered Chinese nationals behind their operations. They are still working on to discover the amount of data stolen. 

Data protection law is required to stop the apps to get away with tons of stolen data and personal information. This has led to a number of suicides as the app operators have blackmailed and harassed people. The borrowers were asked to repay the loan many times even after they have paid it. The operators of the app blackmailed the users by contacting their family or friends and posted stories and private information on social media. 

These applications did not require KYC- Know Your Customer information from the users as the legitimate sites ask their customers of the proof identity. They just took basic contact information from the users, copies of their government-issued identity documents and then used their application to enable access to their smartphones. The data breach by this fake application has become one of the biggest data breach schemes. 

Banks and police officials are working towards tracing the money that these applications have stolen through data breach, blackmailing and identity theft. 

Co-convenor of Cashless Consumer states that “From these 1,000 apps, in the last ten days 118 apps have been removed and in total 450 apps are no longer available on the Play Store, but some of them operate from abroad. The legitimate apps authorised to lend in the database would be around 200 when it comes to the links between these apps and actors sitting abroad. So it is not a case of the data being transferred abroad but that it was collected abroad.” 


Illicit Betting Report by the UK’s Gambling Industry Misguided the Regulators

UK’s Gambling Firms are being accused of exaggerating the numbers on the black market betting report to influence the decision regarding the regulations. According to a recent report, 200,000 people in the UK participate in the black market sites annually. The report claims that up to £1.4bn is spent on these black market sites. The report warns that if the regulations remain strict, more people could end up with unscrupulous operators. 

Neil McArthur, Gambling Commission’s chief executive, has declared the report to be inconsistent with the real picture and it is vague about distinguishing real customers and the bots using the black market sites. He states that according to the regulators’ own investigation, the impact of the illegal market has proven to be exaggerated. 

McArthur said, “black market concerns should be kept in proportion, despite … reports from consultants paid for by the industry, and should not distract from the need to continue to drive up standards and make gambling safer in the regulated market”.

This criticism can be a blow for the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), which has referred to the report to back their arguments against the regulations. The government is considering carrying out measures including limiting the stakes on virtual slot machines or forcing the web-based casinos to keep detailed affordability checks on customers depositing a certain amount monthly. The regulators have dismissed the suggestions by the gambling industry that these measures could increase the illicit betting. 

The Labour MP Carolyn Harris said: “The online gambling industry talks up the threat of the black market in an attempt to resist regulation and protect its profits, but trying to hijack the debate by manufacturing dodgy dossiers of information to further their own ends is an incredibly transparent tactic and will not be any kind of excuse to hold down standards.”

However, the gambling firms and BGC, who has revealed the report, have refused to provide a copy of the report. The final version of the report seems to have removed the involvement of three firms that commissioned the report. 

Corporate Transparency Act – The Road to Better AML Compliance

According to the latest reports, the United States ranked number 1 for not complying with the anti-money laundering regulations. Around 12 penalties were imposed on the US banks and Goldman Sachs had the highest fine of €3.30 billion (USD 3.90 billion). Given the rise in money laundering activities in the US, the Corporate Transparency Act was structured. Recently, the Senate has passed the act. Financial institutions of the United States have until January, 2022 to report to FinCEN according to the updated laws. Once the Act is in action, the US companies have to report their Ultimate Beneficial Owners (UBOs) to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN). In 2022, new Limited Liability Corporations (LLCs) have to report their UBOs and any changes in the beneficial owners will be reported as well. However, any corporations formed before the effective date will have two years for reporting to FinCEN. Let’s dive deeper into the corporate transparency act and how can companies efficiently comply with it. 

Read more: Record-Breaking Fines on Banks for KYC/AML Non-Compliance

Requirements for Corporate Transparency Act

As per this Act, the term beneficial owner refers to anyone who owns 25% or more equity share, has some substantial control over the company, or receives benefits from the company’s assets. Therefore, verifying these stakeholders is essential for the company. 

FATF’s recommendations for best practices on beneficial ownership for legal persons have been best categorised in the Corporate Transparency Act of 2019. According to this Act, companies have to provide the following information about the ultimate beneficial owners to FinCEN. 

  1. Complete legal name of the owner
  2. Owner’s date of birth 
  3. Current residential or business address 
  4. Unique identification number as on the passport, driving license, or the ID card

The company has to submit an annual report of the current UBOs and any changes in the previous year’s owners to FinCEN. 

Current Scenario of the CTA

According to the current situation, some sections of the Act need more clarification and specifications to address minor details. The Corporate Transparency Act has not clearly defined beneficial owners as direct or indirect substantial controlling authorities. Any failings in the Act can lead to more challenges for businesses and violations of the Act will lead to heftier penalties. 

Anyone who assists in the creation of legal entities like attorneys will be monitored. Previous iterations in the Corporate Transparency Act categorised formation agents as financial entities and made them subject to the AML and reporting obligations of the Bank Secrecy Act. In the current version of the Act, references to formation agents have been removed. However, the rulemaking authority given to the Department of Treasury can expand requirements for business. This will ultimately broaden the scope of potential criminal liability. 

Next Steps for the Financial Institutions 

Until long-term actions have been decided, here are some short-term actions that must be considered by form corporation and entities: 

  • Assess if your company has reported the beneficial ownership requirements according to the Corporate Transparency Act or not. 
  • Create a checklist of the reporting requirements
  • Under the Act, every beneficial owner must be identified 
  • Endorse all identity verification documents of every individual that is considered as a beneficial owner
  • Plan renewal in case of expiration of the documents of UBOs
  • There must be a risk ranking system that account for variables like country of origin, service provided, and categorize the levels of risk within relationships
  • A “trust-but-verify” approach must be leveraged if any of the information raises red flags suggested by FATF
  • There must be a sound process for keeping the reporting mandates in touch. This includes the people responsible for collecting information of beneficial owners and filing with FinCEN 
  • Annual monitoring for tracking compliance is important 
  • Sufficient resources must be allocated for better compliance with the new filing obligation

Penalties for Non-Compliance with Corporate Transparency Act 

The CTA has announced hefty penalties for any company that does not comply with the regulations. According to the Act, USD 10,000 must be paid as civil penalties. Furthermore, criminal fines and up to three years of imprisonment have also been announced. In order to comply with these regulations and avoid any fines or penalties, it is better that the US-based companies employ Anti-Money Laundering (AML) screening. 

With the help of AML screening, organisations verify all the stakeholders and any high-risk customers can be identified before they become the company’s problem. This screening cross-checks the identity of the person with numerous sanction lists. Lastly, enhanced due diligence checks are also an option that can help your company comply with the regulations. 

Summing It Up

The rise in criminal activities has led to amendments in Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations. The new laws are designed to make customer due diligence and identity verification measures as rigid as possible. Criminals should not be allowed to surpass these checks at any cost, and better laws can help companies in this regard. The Corporate Transparency Act (CTA) will be active in January 2022 and businesses have until then to report FinCEN about their Ultimate Beneficial Owners. USD 10,000 civil penalties, criminal penalties, and up to three years of imprisonment is the punishment if any organisation fails to comply with CTA. 

The purpose of Corporate Transparency Act is to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. With the help of Anti-Money Laundering screening, companies can ensure enhanced due diligence of all the customers. It will not only help onboard the right customers, but it will also assist your company in better compliance with CTA.
Multi-layered identity verification and background screening of beneficial owners is now inevitable for the US finance sector. All risky entities will be highlighted and reported timely, reducing the risk of money laundering and terrorist financing in the USA. 

Want to know more about automated AML screening? Talk to our experts. 

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Four Biggest Irish Banks Join Forces for Enhanced Security Measures

Four biggest banks in Ireland, AIB, Bank of Ireland, PTSB, and KBC, have collaborated on the measures against cybercrimes and financial crimes. They are working on app-based immediate money transfers to fight against money laundering and enhancing their cybersecurity measures. 

The Sunday Times report that the application will be interbank and is being developed through a collaborated venture including AIB, Bank of Ireland, Permanent TSB, and KBC Bank. Another bank, Ulster Bank, whose future in the Irish market has been under the doubt might also join the venture. If NatWest, Ulster Bank’s UK parent bank, decides to stay in Ireland then the bank might also be the part of this Synch. 

The joint project includes the sharing of identity checks on all potential customers. This would eliminate the need to require the proof of identity along with the proof of address every time an account is opened or the banking activity is being done. This joint venture will also aim at the improved cybersecurity. 

Ireland’s Banking and Payment Federation has confirmed that this collaborated programme, also known as Synch, is linked with the “multi-banking payment app that will enable Irish users to send and make payments in real-time”.

According to the BPFI,This is now a matter for the CCPC and we await their determination on the application.”

Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (CCPC) has been provided notification by Synch and they have launched an investigation into this new programme to ensure its compliance with the Synch rules. 

The traditional way of banking has proved to be a target of financial crimes. The banks have been facing risks regarding credit and payment. Conventional banks in Europe are working on digital payment and banking applications as well.

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Capital One Penalized $390M for ‘Willful’ Violation of the Bank Secrecy Act

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has imposed $390 million as penalty on Capital One for violating both “willful and negligent violations of the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and its implementing regulations.”

The Bank has agreed that it has purposely failed to come up with an effective strategy to comply with the Anti-Money Laundering program. The bank has also admitted to deliberately turning a blind eye on the thousands of suspicious transactions. 

The regulators believe that the violations have been occurring since 2008 and are linked with the Check Cashing Group of Capital One. 

Domenick Pucillo, Genovese’s crime family’s associate has been using the bank for money laundering but the bank has failed to report these suspicious transactions and has deliberately neglected the occurrence of such crime. Even after being aware of Pucillo’s association with the illegal activity, Capital One still enabled over 20,000 transactions worth $160 million.

Director of FinCEN, Kenneth Blanco, has declared the violation to be “egregious” and has expressed his views that the bank’s behaviour has put the people of the country at risk for violating law enforcement guidelines. 

FinCEN has assessed over $390 million worth fines but under the settlement, they have agreed to give the bank credit for a $100 million penalty. This was paid to the Office of Comptroller. Financial institutions and banks are required to comply with the Bank Secrecy Act to prevent financial crimes. 

The Bank Secrecy Act requires banks and financial institutions to identify their potential customers and record their basic information to verify their identity. The transactions of funds of more than $10,000 must be investigated. Any suspicious activity regarding the transactions must be reported to the concerned authorities and failing to do so can result in penalties. Capital one has failed to comply with all these regulations and has allowed money laundering to be done through their platforms.


A Three-fold Rise in AML Penalties in China in 2020

China’s banks and financial institutions have faced an increase in penalties in the year 2020 due to the lack of customer identity verification and suspicious transactions.

The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) has disclosed a report that states a total of USD 97 million have been fined for AML non-compliance. This fine is three times more than the fines that were given in the year 2019. A PWC report states that CNY 608 million have been fined to the institutions and the remaining CNY 20 million of the penalties were fined to the individuals.

Fines total to the number of 733 which is 25% more than the prior year. The penalties include 417 firms with their staff across the 30 provinces. The total number of fines banks faced is 598, which worth to the amount of CNY 330 million and accounts for 52% of the total fines. 

In 2020, financial institutions faced a rise in penalties. CNY 263 million of penalties have been issued to the payment institutions which include two large fines of CNY 100 million and CNY 60 million. 

Most reasons for the penalties were the failure of customer identity verification and due diligence. This accounts to the 203 fines worth CNY 96.4 million. Another failure including the large-value transactions was followed by these penalties which accounts to the total fine of 79 worth CNY 69.

In 2020, a total of 20 large penalties were fined exceeding the amount of CNY 50 million. A criminal law amendment will be implemented from March 2021 which will further enforce the AML regulations on these financial institutions. Draft rules have been issued by PBOC which enhanced the obligations for financial institutions to strengthen the AML and CFT systems. 


FinCEN Extends the Comment Period of Virtual Currency Regulations

FinCEN– Financial Crimes Enforcement has finally agreed to reopen the comment period of regulating the digital currency. After the criticism from the firms dealing with the virtual asset, FinCEN has extended the comment period for the regulations that were proposed earlier. These regulations were related to Legal Tender Status, and Convertible Virtual Currency (CVC). 

Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) required the banks and money service businesses to keep records, submit reports, and carry out identity verification of each customer regarding the transactions involving Convertible Virtual Currency and Legal tender status.

The recent notice has identified the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020 and provides additional information related to reporting form and the extension of the comment period. An additional 15 days of the extension has been assigned by FinCEN for the comment period on the reporting requirements related to information on LTDA or CVC transactions. The Proposed rule requires the reporting of transactions more than $10,000 or totalling to more than $10,000 including the unhosted wallets or even wallets that are hosted in FinCEN identified jurisdictions. FinCEN has extended the comment period to additional 45 days that require banks and money service business to report information in regards to counterparties to transactions by the customer’s of their hosted wallets and proposed recordkeeping requirements.  

FinCEN has received a robust response from the commenters and has received more than 7,500 comments during the initial comment period. FinCEN is looking forward to receiving more comments in this additional comment period and hopes to continue actively engaging with the cryptocurrency to make sure that innovation comes with proper compliance with anti-money laundering regulations and national security risks. 


Fintech 2021: KYC/AML Bringing New Innovation to the Table

2020 was all about surviving the pandemic, but it has also kickstarted a new wave of innovation. As we enter the new year, there is an influx of businesses shifting to the digital space to survive market competition. Even smart payment solutions like Google Pay and Apple Pay which allow performing transactions on a smartphone have become old news. 2021 has come with an increased drive for digital-only systems to replace conventional banking and financial norms which are in practice for a long time now.

The finance sector was quick in adopting recent advances in technology. Fintech companies are now trusted partners of more than 60% of the financial institutions out there in the market. Fintech services incorporate Know Your Customer (KYC) standards which are essential for any business entity to fulfil Anti Money Laundering (AML) obligations.

Current Landmark of Fintech and KYC

The fintech sector has matured with new technologies driving innovation. Possible instances of cybercrime can now be prevented by systems powered by artificial intelligence. In 2018, a staggering $218 billion in fintech investments were recorded, which laid the foundation of better and improved financial systems in the coming years. Government bodies, online businesses and service providers of financial technology make up the most part of the market.

Institutional players like banks are investing a good deal of money in Regulatory Technology (RegTech) to make sure they live up to the global KYC standards. Investors have shifted their targeted audience from B2C to B2B considering the opportunities financial technology has to offer. Moreover, the need for increased compliance and change in consumer behaviours has forced online businesses to practice secure customer onboarding.

Fintech Industry

The fintech market is prone to a lot of changes and technology is one of the reasons. Due to the constantly evolving nature, it allows enterprises to verify customers with confidence. The traditional KYC measures, which were once used by organizations to verify customer identity, have now made their way in the digital landscape. KYC verification is now performed in real-time over the internet, regardless of where an individual is present. Since KYC is an obligatory requirement for financial firms to mitigate fraud and money laundering, fintech solutions address the problem in light of regulatory compliance.


Lack of KYC/AML Infrastructure

Since financial businesses involve a good deal of monetary activities in daily operations, they need to perform proper KYC and AML checks. Fraudsters associate ties with business entities to launder dirty money through their platforms and conduct a series of cybercrime.

KYC/AML regulations are a good bet when it comes to preventing the illicit flow of money.

Regulatory authorities have been imposing heavy penalties to financial firms who fail to meet KYC/AML requirements in the recent years. A study by Thomas Reuters lists instances highlighting the importance of KYC and AML requirements:

  • The national fintech charter by the Office of the Comptroller of Currency (OCC) of the U.S. imposed stringent regulations on companies providing digital-only full banking services in 2017. 
  • A digital currency operator in 2015 was fined $700,000 by FinCEN for not investing in an adequate AML screening program.
  • A fintech for consumer lending services was penalized $6 million by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) for not following proper KYC standards while onboarding external borrowers.

Fintech’s Role in Customer Onboarding

Today, with advances in technology, associating ties with customers and other businesses has become secure and smooth. Gone are the days when a manual verification was mandatory to complete a customer onboarding process.

Artificial Intelligence

Banks and fintech businesses are moving towards AI-powered solutions to speed up their customer onboarding procedures. In this COVID-struck time, financial firms are banking on new and improved technology to maximize their sales. With the power of machine learning and AI, fintechs can monitor suspicious transactions, and effortlessly engage with new prospects at the same time through digital KYC. 

Biometric Security 

Financial services have seen a surge in demand over the past few years. This calls for digital advances that empower KYC to better assess customers and take down identity fraud. In 2021, fintech firms are adopting biometric authentication technology like facial and fingerprint recognition as a more accurate and reliable means of meeting KYC standards. 

Regulatory Technology

The growth in fintech has enabled global regulators to develop regulatory technology for the better compliance. To better practice AML compliance, Regulatory Technology (RegTech) has become essential for online businesses, and fintechs are no exception. Undoubtedly, technology brings innovations, but it creates a new avenue for cybercrime as well. Regulatory service providers are striving to combat potential threats and risks by creating reliable solutions. 2021 could prove to be a year of collaborations between fintech providers and regulatory bodies, as they look forward to making the financial industry a safer place.

It all comes down to Shufti Pro…

An effective KYC verification process is the need of every fintech business in the industry. In order to meet the constantly evolving regulatory requirements, financial businesses need a solution that can facilitate them to meet KYC and AML obligations in the best possible way. Shufti Pro offers digital KYC verification to onboard customers by verifying their true identity, in light of global AML compliance. With a global support of more than 3000 documents and 150 languages, we offer real-time KYC services. Shufti Pro incorporates reliable and quick data protection to provide fintech companies with a safe and secure channel for customer onboarding.


European Central Bank’s President Calls for Strict Bitcoin Regulations

The president of the European Central Bank, Christine Lagarde, says that bitcoin is a “funny business” and it must be regulated globally because it can lead to money laundering and other financial crimes

Lagarde was not shy in voicing her criticism, For those who had assumed it might turn into a currency — terribly sorry, but this is a highly speculative asset which has conducted some funny business and some interesting and totally reprehensible money-laundering activity. There has to be regulation. This has to be applied and agreed upon . . . at a global level because if there is an escape, that escape will be used.”

Bitcoin’s value has increased recently. Regulators get extra cautious when there is a peak and they start to warn about the possibility of the crackdown. This week, FCA, UK’s Financial Conduct Authority has warned the authorities about the possibility of loss if they keep on investing in crypto assets.

Treasury is conducting consultations for the regulation regarding the stable coins and other crypto assets. Economic Secretary of the Treasury, John Glen states that they, “could pose a range of risks to consumers and, depending on their uptake, to the stability of the financial system”.

However, the government is more focused on the innovations and the opportunities these innovations bring. Central Bank Europe’s President, Ms. Lagarde, spoke to Reuters about the possibility of money laundering crimes and how these digital assets have proven to be a source of illegal activities. She says an investigation is to be carried out to look into these illegal activities related to crypto-assets. Earlier this week, the German police have taken down a dark web market that was allowing the trade of cryptocurrency with drugs. Half a million people participated in such trade. 


“Online Trading Platforms to Become a New Hub for Investment Scams” Warns FCA

FCA warns that investment scams are increasing in the UK via online means of trading platforms and social media sites. People, as well as business entities, are being increasingly targeted by fraudsters who are offering foreign exchange trade and crypto-assets contracts like bitcoin. These fraudulent offers are mostly promoted by social media platforms.

Fraudsters manipulate people by offering high profits and use fake and enticing visual aids to get people to invest in their scams. Their advertisement seems like professional-looking sites leaving the impression of legitimacy and people end up investing.  Investment is done through managed accounts where trade is done on their behalf or it can be done through the firm’s platform. They even create private relations with the victims to guide them about investment opportunities.

Sometimes these fraudulent firms return some amount of money to make it look like profits and to show that the trading was successful. Through this, victims are encouraged to invest more and even publicize this with their friends and families who end up investing as well. After a while, when the victim has invested enough money, the return stops and the victim’s account is suspended. 

Many fraudulent firms are located in the UK and they claim to be authorized by the financial regulatory authorities like FCA. This gives the impression of legitimacy and the victim does not try to take more precautionary measures.

These types of scams have become quite a concern for FCA. However, FCA cannot control social media companies to remove such scams. FCA has spread awareness about these scams among people as well as businesses to remain vigilant. If anyone finds such scams on social media, they are required to immediately report to the authorities so FCA can take action against such fraud. Social media platforms can play a huge role by having proper business verifications to identify such fraudulent firms. 


Global Banks Slapped with a Total of $14.21 Billion Fines in 2020

Finbold released a report on the global banks that were fined in 2020. According to the report, a total of US $14.21 billion has been fined collectively to the banks. The US banks have been ranked on the top accounting for the total fine of $11.11 billion making 73.4 percent of total fines from 12 cases.

Australia has ranked on the second number with a total of $981.06 million fines from 3 cases across the country. Israel has fallen on the third number with a total fine of $902.59 million for money laundering and tax evasion cases.

Sweden has ranked on number four with a total fine of $539.66M and five banks from Germany have accounted for $215.91M of fines.

Finbold’s chief editor Oliver Scott commented: “Fines on financial institutions are projected to grow in the coming years, as the U.S. and other countries reform existing regulations while increasing sanctions with anti-money laundering regulations remaining a key enforcement priority. However, banks are spending more on conforming to changing regulatory requirements. Overall, new and complex regulations are proving to be a challenge for the compliance departments of many lenders.”

However, the largest fine was imposed on the Goldman Sache of $3.90 billion, financial institutions in the U.S. Wells Fargo, a bank in the U.S has been fined around $3 billion, becoming the second-highest fine on an institution.

These organizations have been fined for various violations however but most fines have been due to the failure to comply with the anti-money laundering regulations. The report has been based on the US Treasury Department’s intelligence unit, the Financial Crime Enforcement Network, documents, reports, and investigations.


Deutsche Bank Pays $130M to Avoid Corrupt Payment Charges

Deutsche Bank, a German investment bank, has agreed to pay the fine of $130 million to settle the charges of hiding corrupt payments and bribes.

Since 2009, the bank has been involved in years of misconduct according to the prosecutors. The bank funneled millions of dollars in bribes and millions related to business development consultants. The German bank has tampered with its record-keeping to misrepresent these expenses. The scheme included the prominent executive members of the banks who conspired to hide the false payments fully knowingly. The U.S act that forbids corrupt foreign practices has regulated the companies from paying bribes overseas. Due to the Deutsche Bank’s violation of the U.S laws, Saudia Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Italy, and China have been spanned.

Last year, a FinCEN investigation revealed that Deutsche Bank has moved millions of dollars for a Ukrainian oligarch who is now charged with the fraud cases. From a report around the world, Deutsche was one of the banks found profited from powerful global players

Other than the charges of bribery, prosecutors have disclosed that Deutsche Bank has committed fraud in tampering with the prices of metals over a long time. The bank has pleaded guilty in the settlement and agreed to pay the fine to avert both bribery and fraud allegations.

Dan Hunter, a Deutsche Bank spokesman said, “We take responsibility for these past actions, which took place between 2008 and 2017, and the bank is determined to put these matters firmly in the past.”

The agreement in the settlement requires the bank to fix the system that eliminates bribery and other wrongdoings. Recently, such types of agreements have become a way to stop banks from being involved in such misconducts. Deutsche Bank has previously been charged with anti-money laundering charges


4 Industries Where OCR Technology Can Work Wonders

Today, online businesses need to meet the constantly evolving customer needs to survive market competition. In the highly digitised space where there is an influx of user data, having the appropriate technology is the need of the hour. Gone are the days when customers needed to reach a business’ office with their identity documents and take part in a tedious verification process. With Optical Character Recognition (OCR), customer onboarding can be performed remotely and with better turnaround times. Advanced OCR technology not only helps streamline the process at the user end but also helps businesses save the cost and time of investing in manual data entry tasks.


Industry Use Cases of OCR Technology

Banking Industry 

Financial organisations like banks are a frequent consumer of OCR services because of the amount of paperwork in their daily operations. OCR can play a crucial role in Business Process Automation (BPA) systems which are an essential part of customer data processing. It can help perform easy and accurate data extraction of documents which simplifies banking procedures. Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) are one of the basic applications of OCR technology which recognise numbers on payment cards and process them digitally. 

Another benefit of using this technology is that information provided on handwritten cheques can be scanned and managed without the hassle of entering data manually. The process incorporates important details like the name, address and signature of the users which are processed in real-time. With Artificial Intelligence bringing new innovation to the table, smart OCRs are replacing form processing, and other paperwork done by credit card processors. Merchant statement analytics, which takes long hours of verifying transactions and checking credit scores, can now be streamlined with accurate readings from AI-based OCR solutions.


Healthcare Sector

Hospitals and other organisations working in the medical sector have to work with a lot of paper-based patient records, health insurance forms, and medical policy statements. Keeping track of the large volume of data often becomes an uphill task for healthcare institutions. Optical Character Recognition provides a solution to this problem by converting data like patient profile, treatment history, insurance payments, and diagnostics into digitally accessible information. Once the information is changed to electronic form it can now be accessed anytime with ease. This gives healthcare providers the utility to better diagnose a patient by viewing their medical history through their electronic health record. 

Apart from this, information extracted from the OCR engine is stored to cloud storage where it is kept secure and confidential. This helps medical service providers in the efficient management of patient records. Moreover, in the pharmaceutical sector, information related to a wide range of drugs could be digitally stored and retrieved from online databases with a single search operation, optimising time management. 

Read more: Fully embracing digital transformation with AI OCR

Finance Industry

The Finance sector can greatly benefit from OCR solutions providing finance experts and accountants with the opportunity to focus on high priority tasks rather than processing information using old-school methods. Rather than focusing on manual data handling and processing, they can use OCR technology to automate operations which take longer turnaround times. This way financial organisations can bring better productivity and accuracy in their mechanical operations. 

According to a report, digital businesses invest more than a billion dollars in preventing fraudulent activities. Blank and double receipts, transactions from non-banking entities, and adding more value to the actual expenses are ways and means through which cyber criminals deceive financial systems and forms. OCR helps mitigate these possible instances of financial frauds by integrating OCR management systems in mobile applications or web platforms which are used to perform financial activities.

With Optical Character Recognition, in-depth audits can be conducted with a faster turnover, allowing auditors to easily access budget reports and expense documents. Rather than reporting and collating every single detail, finance experts can spend more time on analysing details related to transactions. 

Apart from this, OCR allows accountants to work remotely due to the level of accessibility they provide. By reducing the possibility of human error in reading invoices and financial statements of different formats, automated OCR solutions prove to be a good deal in the finance industry. 

Insurance Industry

Unexpected delays can affect the customer experience of any organisation, and insurance firms are no exception. Manual entry of data becomes impossible when it comes to the length and volume of insurance policies and agreements. There is no solution except to go digital. Insurance companies can use OCR-based solutions to make their client onboarding process smooth and effective. By allowing customers to upload a copy of their insurance policy using a mobile application powered by OCR, insurance firms are banking on the right use of technology. Insurers can now sign contracts with customers by easily retrieving their information through searchable PDFs generated by OCR. 

Shufti Pro’s OCR for Business

Data extraction and processing is the need of the hour for enterprises around the globe. Processing customer data in huge volumes can often become a challenge for online businesses in the finance, banking, insurance and healthcare sector. 

Shufti Pro’s OCR for Business combines artificial intelligence to perform instant image to text conversion of paper-based documents into digital PDFs. The solution extracts information from a wide array of documents including handwritten, business records, official letters, and invoices etc. Shufti Pro’s OCR has multilingual support of over 150 languages with global coverage. With a remarkable accuracy of more than 90%, online businesses can efficiently optimise their customer data.

Get in touch with our experts and know everything about optical character recognition (OCR) for businesses. 


Securing Public Facilities with Touchless ID Verification Kiosks

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, social distancing became the utmost need of the hour. Given the rise in contactless means of communication, touchless identity verification is also an emerging trend these days. Verifying identities through traditional means was long gone when eKYC emerged. Now, the trend for contactless verification is increasing. Airports, arenas, and other public facilities are preferring touchless means of ID verification. Recently, Japan announced the use of face recognition technology at the Tokyo Olympics. The purpose is to trace any unusual activities and contact among individuals. Similarly, the majority of states in the US have touchless verification kiosks at the airports to ensure seamless identity verification. 

Touchless identity verification not only ensures social distancing but provides customers with a seamless experience. Read this blog to find out the what and how of touchless identity verification kiosks.    

How Does Touchless ID Verification Work?

The process is very simple and takes few seconds for completion. With advanced Artificial Intelligence models, the contactless system verifies identities accurately and has the following few steps. 

  1. First, the touchless kiosk is installed at security checkpoints of public facilities, arenas, airports, restaurant entrances, etc. 
  2. The end-user signs up with their identity details remotely 
  3. Upon arriving at the place, customers verify identities by showing identity documents. No physical contact is involved here 
  4. the customer’s live biometric information is recorded and the verification is performed against the previously submitted information
  5. If the match is successful, the customer can enter the facility. Otherwise, the verification is declined and end-user cannot enter the place 

The five simple steps hardly take a minute for completion. If the information submitted during registration is correct, the contactless kiosks require only five seconds to perform the rest of the verification checks. 


ID Verification Checks Performed in Touchless Kiosks 

The process is effortless and simple, and also verifies in real-time. However, it is important to know the various checks Shufti Pro’s touchless kiosks perform for identity verification. In our facility, the contactless system performs document verification and three different biometric authentication checks for enhanced security. Let’s take a look at all of them.   

Document Verification 

This is the first check performed. Once your customers reach the security checkpoint, they have to show their government-issued identity document to the machine. The information provided for registering is cross-checked with the identity document shown to the kiosk. In case, the documents are not verified, further verification checks are not performed. 

Biometric Authentication 

Biometric authentication is an emerging trend for identity verification. Biometric authentication refers to the verification of behavioural and physical attributes of an individual. These attributes include walking style (gait), iris, pupil, palm, face, retina, and voice recognition. Touchless kiosks perform three different biometric authentication checks for better security. These three checks include face recognition, palm recognition, and voice recognition. 

Face Recognition

Every person has a different face geometry that makes it easier for facial recognition system to verify identities. The images on the government-issued identity documents submitted during registration are verified with the face shown to the kiosk. The face recognition algorithms map facial features of the customer from the image and are authenticated with the face in real time. 

Palm Recognition 

The unique biometric traits on an individual’s palm are also used for biometric authentication. To access certain services, it is essential for all the individuals to perform palm-vein recognition and handprint recognition. Along with a variety of other techniques, palm recognition works as an extra layer of security on top of face recognition and voice recognition.

Voice Recognition 

Voice recognition is another biometric authentication measure that works by digitising the voice of the customer into segments and matches it against the voice captured or produced as a sample of the customer. Voice being the sift biometric is perfect for contactless identity verification at public places. 

Be it airports, hotels, or conferences, touchless kiosks can be of great help for  your organisation in ensuring security and contactless measures at all times. 

Shufti Pro’s Touchless Kiosks Facilitating Your IDV Needs

Shufti Pro strives hard to ensure higher levels of security of your company. Since the coronavirus pandemic has imposed social distancing on us, we are now providing touchless identity verification kiosks to large-scale events, airports, arenas, restaurants, and anyone who is wondering about better ways of verifying identities and avoiding physical contact. Shufti Pro’s touchless kiosks have the following benefits for your company. 

  • We provide global support and contactless kiosk also verifies more than 3000 document types with 150+ languages
  • Compliance with GDPR and PCI DSS data protection measures is ensured 
  • Screening is automated so there are no chances of manual delays 
  • State and international regulatory compliance is also ensured 
  • Real-time verification within five seconds 
  • Three types of biometric authentication checks for enhanced security 
  • A combination of several identity verification checks increases accuracy and credibility of this system

Summing It Up

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, everyone prefers contactless means of communication. Verifying identities through traditional methods is no longer adequate in the digital world. Now, contactless methods of identity verification are preferred over the other methods. With the help of touchless identity verification kiosks at security checkpoints, you can enhance the security of large-scale events. Airports, restaurants, and retailers can make great use of this technology and secure their organisation from unusual activities. Our touchless kiosks employ document and biometric authentication for better security. 

Get in touch with our experts today and know everything about touchless kiosks. 


Biometric Authentication – How Do Fraudsters Try to Bypass These Checks?

Biometric authentication is one of the ideal ways of dealing with fraudsters. Unfortunately, criminals have become sophisticated over time and now, they are figuring out better ways to bypass these checks. We are fortunate to have AI-powered solutions that cannot be dodged easily. However, taking necessary precautionary measures always helps. Since conventional methods for verifying customers is long gone, the trend for AI-based biometric authentication is what every industry needs. Identity theft fraud is the main reason behind the rising use of biometric authentication. Also known as liveness detection, biometric verification is a great way of combating identity theft fraud. 

Did you know in 2019, a US company lost 10 million dollars reportedly due to an audio deepfake of the CEO that requested money transfers? The rising numbers and methods of identity theft demands a robust solution for combating fraud and biometric authentication is one of the best ways. Read this blog and find out the two ways fraudsters use as a bypass attempt and why they are not successful. 

The Two Methods for Dodging Biometric Authentication

Wearing face masks is the oldest trick in the book for fooling biometric authentication checks. Nowadays, fraudsters use technology for deceiving the checks. Editing videos and audio files with content as per their needs is the latest trend. Also known as deepfakes, fraudsters use deep learning techniques to make people believe the false. 

  • Spoofing

Apart from using glasses and face masks for spoofing, there are plenty of other complex methods that fraudsters use for spoofing. In the modern world, it is not a problem for acquiring someone’s picture and using it for illegal activities. With the help of technology, they edit photos and use it during biometric authentication.

2D and 3D Face Masks 

By performing a facial artefact, imposters use advanced automated printing to create a 2D mask or buy a 3D mask for a few euros. In more advanced spoof attacks, imposters use face masks of real people to verify the image on the ID document during biometric verification. Asking the end-user to move their face, eyes, and smile are some of the techniques used to identify spoof attacks. 

Read our Whitepaper for more information on Biometrics: Banking on Biometrics: The Future of Customer Authentication



Apart from 2D and 3D face masks, deepfakes are an emerging threat for businesses too. Imposters edit videos and audio files according to their needs. For instance, a video can be edited to change background or statements so that they seem authentic while demanding any information or money. Why do fraudsters use deepfakes? Well, they are well-aware of the fact that companies have developed strong authentication measures for securing their emails. They need a better method for deceiving companies and deepfakes is one of the ways cybercriminals are using these days. 

In 2019, cybercriminals mimicked the voice of a CEO of a large energy firm and demanded £220,000 from the employees. Similarly, Obama’s video was also edited in which he used certain names for Donald Trump. In reality, it was a deepfake and the event occurred in 2018. Another example of deepfake is the US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s video. In that video, her statements were slowed down by 25% which made it look like she was drunkenly stumbling over her words.    

  • Bypassing

In this case, fraudsters try to hack the biometric authentication system rather than using any impersonation techniques. Their target is the weaknesses in the biometric authentication system and the idea is to alter biometric authentication system’s data. For instance, imposters can inject a pre-recorded video in the biometric system. However, advanced biometric authentication checks do not allow fraudsters to bypass. With the help of liveness detection checks, it gets easier to identify bypass attacks in no time. 

Read more: Biometric Authentication Technology – Everything you Need to Know

How Does Biometric Authentication Prevent Spoofing and Bypassing?

Biometric authentication checks for live presence of the customer. In case of stolen identities, the image in the government-issued ID document is verified through a selfie that the user has to submit during verification. Moreover, 3D mapping, skin texture analysis, 3D sensing, and various other techniques help in identifying spoof attacks within seconds. Users are asked to blink, nod, smile, and talk to the verification expert to prevent spoof attacks. 

In 2021, we are expecting deepfakes to increase in number, while 2D and 3D masks are not expected to decrease at all. Artificial Intelligence has made it easier for fraudsters to develop better spoofing measures. However, biometric authentication checks have become sophisticated too. A simple skin color change in a photo will not help criminals to fool authentication checks. Skin texture analysis and self-trained AI models in biometric authentication can detect any facial spoof attacks. Moreover, liveness detection is performed to ensure higher levels of accuracy in the biometric verification checks. 

It All Narrows Down To…

Biometric authentication is one of the best ways to combat identity theft, especially 2D and 3D masks, and deepfakes. Skin texture analysis, 3D mapping, depth sensing, liveness detection, and other techniques have enhanced the accuracy of biometric authentication. There are two methods that fraudsters use for surpassing biometric authentication checks – spoofing and bypassing. Both these methods use advanced technology and criminals can achieve their illegal goals. However, facial biometric authentication backed with Artificial Intelligence can easily prevent spoof attacks. 

Shufti Pro’s enhanced biometric authentication checks deploy thousands of AI models to authenticate an identity and verify the live presence of the customer. With 98.67% accuracy, our solutions ensure that your company stays safe from facial spoof attacks. 


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