Digital KYC to Trace and Tackle High-Risk Customers

Digital KYC to Trace and Tackle High-Risk Customers

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Customers are the assets and building blocks of any business. Customers are responsible for taking businesses to the next level or destroying it to rubble. That is why it very crucial to know who you are dealing with. Know your customer is the procedure to identify and verify customers to check if they are real and not fraudsters or indulged in any illicit activity that can cause a threat to business. It is a process to check the background of customers and analyze the risk factors associated with them. 

The fundamental idea behind the introduction of KYC in organizations was to find a way that can protect the organizations from fraudsters and criminals and doesn’t involve penalizing the innocents at the same time. The KYC process is a standard procedure to verify the customers at the time of onboarding. However, with strict regulations coming into the light, KYC isn’t limited to the verification of the customers, instead, it is now to continuously analyze the customer behavior to look out for suspicious activities and illicit transactions. It is used for the following purposes:

  • To curb fraud schemes
  • To mitigate scam scandals
  • To put a halt on money laundering
  • To hinder illicit fraud transfer and
  • To identify high-risk customers by enhanced due diligence 

Need for KYC to Identify High-Risk Customers:

The KYC laws were introduced as the section of the Patriot Act passed in 2001 after the incident of 9/11 to deter terrorist activities and criminal funding. The section of this act concerned with the financial transactions inserted some new policies in addition to those of “The Bank of Secrecy Act of 1970.” These requirements regulated the banks and other financial institutions. As per the Patriot Act, the organizations dealing with finance are required to meet three main requirements in order to comply with KYC regulations:

  • Customer Identification Program (CIP)
  • Customer Due Diligence (CDD)
  • Enhanced Due Diligence (EDD)

High-Risk Customer Identification Program (CIP)

The customer identification program is a significant component of the KYC process in which the organizations are obliged to ask customers to provide their identification information. It is to verify the identity of the customer who wishes to carry out a financial transaction with a particular bank. The CIP requirement was made compulsory in 2003 for the financial institutions to develop and incorporate customer identification programs into their secrecy policies to meet anti-money laundering (AML) compliance. 

Every institution has its own CIP processes depending on the size and type of the institute. That’s why they may require different documents for verification. Generally, driving license and passports the most commonly required document by the banks. Regardless, some other documents may include: 

  • Utility bills
  • Financial references or statements 
  • Information from a consumer reporting agency or public database

No matter what document or information of the individuals and business is asked, it is to check their authenticity that they are not fake or fall in any prohibited lists so that fake customers and customers at high-risk can be filtered. 

High-Risk Customers Due Diligence

Customer due diligence covers multiple aspects of customer verification and identification. For secure onboarding of clients, it is essential to identify the future risks that can arise due to some customers – the reason why customer due diligence is conducted. While performing due diligence, the significant goal is to analyze customer behavior and predict the type of transaction pattern that the customer is most likely to follow. In an evolving regulatory climate, mobile identity verification can be of great help. It helps organizations in identifying suspicious behavior and assigning a risk rating to customers to identify the customers that can be threatening for organizations and how often their accounts will be monitored. 

The regulatory agencies have set no particular standards or methodologies for conducting customer due diligence leaving the institutions with an open choice to follow their own tools and devices. Many organizations demand a lot of information during the process including banking references, previous financial statements, salary slips, occupation, source of funds, etc. The purpose of this information is to analyze the background and behavior of the customer to predict future risks that may be linked to the customer. 

All this hassle because FinCEN has strictly imposed this requirement on the financial institutes to immediately report any threatening or suspicious activity. And you can’t do it efficiently unless you know your customer behavior and history.

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Enhanced Due Diligence (EDD) for High-Risk Customers:

Enhanced due diligence (EDD) is an advanced and more comprehensive set of KYC procedures for high-risk customers, exhibiting irregular transaction behavior or ambiguous sources of origin. The customers classified under the high-risk category after the Customer Due Diligence (CDD) process are more likely prone to money laundering and illegal funding of terrorists and criminals. They need to be monitored continuously. Considering the trend of such illicit transactions, the USA Patriot Act strictly dictates the institutions that they

 “shall establish appropriate, specific, and, where necessary, enhanced due diligence policies, procedures, and controls that are reasonably designed to detect and report instances of money laundering through those accounts.”

The EDD process includes verifying ultimate beneficial ownership information (UBO) and identifying politically exposed persons (PEPs). Monitoring the transactions is also one of the fundamentals of the EDD process.

High-risk Customers-Venomous for the Business:

High-risk customers are identified from the customer provided by using digital identity verification solutions. Such customers are monitored perpetually for the potential suspicious activities in their accounts so that no forgery can take place like money laundering, account takeover, identity theft, etc. Such customers can be a poisonous threat to business until they exist in the system. Various AI-powered Saas products offer inputs that are useful for the monitoring systems of the business to filter such AML high-risk customers that pose a threat of money laundering. Such a risk management framework will business in assessing customer risk. 

Digital KYC Checks- From Weeks to Seconds:

It is a documented fact that customers are the assets of any organization. Digital KYC is what the institutions need in this era of technology. Based on the principles of automation, the eKYC process can simultaneously execute multiple steps. It reduces the keystroke time, cost and human effort. The process that could take hours and days for an individual can be cut down to seconds with the help of AI-powered solutions and tools. With the use of intelligent KYC verification, the businesses can onboard a more secure clientele and that too with real-time verification, coping up with the regulatory complexities at the same time.

With the world moving into the digital sphere, customer convenience is even more important for any business. The manual KYC process is quite a time consuming and costly process. Clients get exhausted as it takes weeks or even months to onboard a customer. This cumbersome procedure even ends up losing customers as they move to other platforms during this time taking procedure. It is evident now that digital KYC doesn’t only help to identify any customer but helps to filter out customers that have some traits putting them as high-risk customers so that businesses are vigilant while dealing with them. Also, due to the digital revolution, the concept of global onboarding is becoming common which requires more fast and convenient verification and onboarding process. 

Perks of Using Digital KYC Solution:

To end up negative customer experience digital identity verification solution has achieved a milestone. Following are some of the benefits that come up with using the digital identity verification solutions for KYC:

  • Demit Frauds and Scams

Using digital KYC can decrease the risk of frauds like identity theft, credit card fraud, and onboarding high-risk clients. 

  • Increase Security

It’s more important than ever to verify the identities of customers due to an increased risk of terrorist funding and money laundering and other cybercrimes. 

  • Ensure Accuracy

Digital KYC solutions provide a seamless experience where there are lesser chances of errors and omissions. 

  • Provide Better Customer Experience

Digital KYC provides a better customer experience as it takes no time for the whole authentication process. 

In a nutshell, digital KYC clubbed with artificial intelligence is crucial to identify and tackle with high-risk customers that can bring along various dangers for businesses. Business can end up paying hefty fines due to such customers or owners end up losing their businesses. Digital KYC simplifies identity verification for an online business that plays a vital role in this area. In an evolving regulatory climate, mobile identity verification can be of great help. In the coming years, it will continue to morph with surprising speed.

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Why You Need To Know Your Buyer

Why You Need To Know Your Buyer

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Online payments are fast replacing cash transactions with the top payment companies harboring 1billion+ active users. By 2023, global mobile payment transactions will be worth more than £3.5 trillion, as indicated by findings from Allied Market Research. Between 2017-2013, the market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of a staggering 34%. 

Merchants are currently supporting various online payment channels including desktop browsers, mobile apps, POS systems, and direct purchases through social media. Support is being developed and furnished for all of these channels, along with additional innovative solutions for a growing online buyer base. 

In order to safeguard themselves from online fraud, suppliers are also looking into buyer verification solutions that help you know your buyer, and more importantly to know your buyer’s customer. 

Implications for E-commerce and Online Security

According to Worldpay’s 2018 Global Payment Report, the global share of cash as a payment method will decline from 32% in 2018 to a little over 15% by 2022. The same dataset reveals that the use of credit and debit cards has remained steady in this time period, while mobile payments have witnessed a steep rise since 2018. By 2022, e-wallets and other modes of cashless transactions will be just shy of 30% of the point of sale payment (POS) methods globally. 

Following potent buying trends in global online payments, a number of security concerns surrounding online transactions need to be accounted for. Both consumers and service providers worry about the new mode of doing business, with privacy and data breaches emerging as the largest barriers to online payment adoption. 

Thanks to mobile e-wallets, digital currencies and payment alternatives like PayPal and WePay, opportunities for mobile commerce are also proliferating. As a result, online fraud has become an imminent threat to digital transactions, with 16.7 million victims of identity fraud reported in 2017 alone. Additionally, the Online Fraud Benchmark Report by CyberSource notes a 30% increase in eCommerce fraud attacks compared to 2016. 

Previously, financial crimes centered around the misuse of physical credit cards, but as merchants switch to chip-enabled cards and in-store mobile app payments, fraudsters have made the move too. Online fraud activity builds on stolen consumer information with data breaches on the rise, and millions of consumer records exposed to malicious minds. 

E-commerce fraud is a double-edged sword, impacting both victims of identity fraud, and suppliers alike. While buyers lose sensitive personal information, merchants find themselves at a larger financial loss. This is because of the reimbursement process following a fraudulent transaction. The seller loses the merchandise ordered by the fraudster, refunds the original buyer, and pays credit card charge-back fees associated with the transaction.

How Know Your Buyer Checks Can Help


Businesses have to look deeper into foolproof methods of providing online services. This means that Know Your Buyer checks are going to be increasingly important in order to safeguard business and financial operations, as well as maintain good industry repute. 

Verification providers have also caught up with malicious trends in e-commerce fraud, and tailor Know Your Buyer solutions to provide a risk cover. For a cashless world to be both efficient and safe, extra layers of security at the point of sale is just what is required right now to ensure compliance with know your customer (KYC) regulations. 

Buyer Identity Verification


The security of payment networks depends largely on verification of sellers and buyers, to ensure that only genuine transactions are allowed to go through. To know you, buyer, evidence of a member’s identity is collected by verification providers using a Verification API that also provides proof of transaction. 

An official ID is required to be submitted by the user, such as a driver’s license, passport, or national identity card. For liveness verification, a selfie will be taken to act as proof of presence, which must match the identity document. This completes the process and tells the seller that a buyer has actually purchased the product. 

Safe marketplaces


Keep your community safe by verifying both sellers and buyers, and opt to know your buyer solutions that protect sensitive data from fraud and unauthorized access. 

Know Your Buyer solution providers take into account the high volume of e-commerce being reported each year, and thrive to provide seamless buyer verifications. Before making or accepting payments, vendors and buyers are required to complete an identity verification process with high-security protocols. The verification systems must comply with global regulations for AML/KYC/KYB in order for the business to complete Know Your Buyer compliance procedures without friction.  

Know Your Buyer Persona 


Your customers or your business’ customers can have varied priorities and choose different metrics to steer progress. Using a buyer-centric approach to business expansion and growth will translate into fruitful long-term customer relationships. 

Key information and credentials about buyers can also help you know your buyer’s persona in a better way. Buying behavior in the digital age is a key indicator of shaping new plans and promotions and can be gleaned from the channels that the buyer is choosing for a purchase. 

Especially true for new entrants, brands can leverage this data to target a specific audience that has shown interest in their product or service. This will also help streamline business policies and schemes if you know your target market, eventually boosting user experience for the end product. 

For the safety of growing digital economies, knowing your customers, businesses, and buyers has long-lasting implications. As we continue to embark on new avenues for cashless transactions, complying with essential regulatory directives will help keep us on the right track.