KYC & AML

How crucial is AML/CFT Compliance for Hong Kong based Businesses?

Hong Kong serves as financial hub of trade and financial industry especially due to its strategic location in APAC and Far East Region. Along with Singapore, Hong Kong’s financial market handles funds from Western capitals of finance for global trade activities. This makes AML Compliance a necessary aspect for funds managers and banking institution. Stock market trading and financial services also make up a major part of this city state’s economy. Recently, the trend to verify the identities of users and clients by major players of Hong Kong economy has gained prominence. This trend gained momentum not only by greater regulatory scrutiny to clamp down on money laundering activities, but private institutions and businesses also wanted to reduce the risk of being fined for becoming an accomplice in a financial crime.

Digital KYC Services

Hong Kong is aspiring to become a Fintech hub and the authorities understand that it is not possible without establishing a state of the art AML database. On their part, Hong Kong government is ready to fast track this entire Digital AML process by launching new smart identity cards that will be replacing existing ones by 2019.

Even banks doing business for decades have been forced to take a proactive role in ascertaining the identity and credentials of their users before providing them with financial services. HSBC is one such example as the bank has started gathering greater customer information to introduce transparent business practices. Just like HSBC, banking organizations and financial institutions were forced to adopt KYC because they were fined in some other territories and countries. For example HSBC was fined millions of dollars in United States for not being vigilant about the identity of its customers. Thus the bank has introduced greater compliance practices like KYC to prevent further penalties.

 

AML Compliance in Hong Kong

Just recently, Hong Kong authorities changed their Anti-Money Laundering regulations to make them stricter and thus ensuring compliance from ever-so-powerful banks and financial organizations. As a global hub of trade and funds management in the eastern hemisphere, Hong Kong provides a unique opportunity for financial criminals to launder money or transfer funds under the guise of stocks or tradable goods.

Today, innovative practices are being adopted by banks and funds managers in Hong Kong to check for money laundering and terror funding. Account holders are being asked to declare number of transactions that will be performed from their accounts on monthly basis. For larger number of transactions, customers have to give a valid reason. In case a customer signs up with maximum 5 transactions per month and suddenly there are hundreds of transactions being made from that account, red flags start going up.

Recommended For You: RegTech facilitates effortless AML Compliance

KYC and AML Compliance has become necessary to ensure transparency in customer’s global data, operating out of Hong Kong. A centralized KYC and AML compliant system adopted by banks and financial organization will allow for a hassle free account opening, online transactions and easy insurance claims.

Now with all this vital information and confidential data being collected by banks, serious concerns have been raised about the security of data and potential of data breaches. This is where a tried and trusted solution like Shufti Pro can come in handy for financial institutions and banking industry of Hong Kong. It is an AI based comprehensive identity verification service offering both Digital KYC and AML Compliance services. Each digital KYC verification is performed within 30-60 seconds by Shufti Pro and background checks for AML Compliance are performed against 1000 Watch Lists and sanction lists, in addition to 3000 databases. This huge data is maintained by financial crime regulators like UN, Interpol, OFAC and HMT. This gigantic databank for AML Compliance is updated every 14 minutes for constant and updated monitoring.

Shufti Pro is perfect for a global financial hub like Hong Kong as it can verify identity of a person belonging to every country of the world. Its Artificial Intelligence backed system can read and verify credentials in every language of the world as well. So, if you also want to avail top class identity verification service for Digital KYC and AML Compliance, then Shufti Pro is the right choice.

Video Proof Verification

Know Your Customer with Video Proof

Know your Customer (KYC) verification with Shufti Pro, which is becoming a recognised name in the emerging field of digital identity verification, is quick, accurate and time and cost effective. It aims to provide completely secure online identity and document verification in real-time. There exist numerous competitors in the market though none of them are able to provide proof of verification to their clients, as Shufti Pro does.

How does Shufti Pro stand out?

Whenever the user begins the online ID verification process, a video automatically records the entire process. At the end of the process, this video is available to our clients so they may review what actions were taken during this whole procedure. Shufti Pro provides the proof of the secure identity verification servicein the form of a video stream. It is completely encrypted so security breaches are not a threat and the video is available at our back-office, which is accessible only by our clients. All the data is secured as per GDPR directives.

We can ensure safe and secure online transactions with Shufti Pro, so that venturing into the huge digital marketplace is not a daunting or risky task for you. The evidence of authentication not only helps you in keeping track of each step individually, but also aids in clarifying any discrepancies regarding identity verification that may occur in the future.

Every step of the process happens in real-time and at the same time, it is being recorded for our clients’ security purposes. This doesn’t violate the confidentiality agreement because it provides end-to-end encryption between the client and the customer. All of the information is stored in an encrypted format, on a data centre of our client’s choice, so no sensitive data is at risk.

 

Hence, we not only verify customers’ identity and legal documents, but we ensure to provide you with proof of verification as well. Our competitors in the field may let you access the screenshots taken during the process, but never the complete video stream of the entire process as does Shufti Pro. We feel justifiably proud that Shufti Pro is totally efficient in this regard and allows for both still images and the full video to be made accessible to our clients. This is also one of the factors that makes it one of the best fraud protection service in the market.

Shufti Pro has been designed to be your only choice in terms of efficiency, accuracy, ease of use, speed and of course running costs. The perfect solution for your Know Your Customer verification needs!

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Protect Your Bitcoin

Protect Your Bitcoin Business With KYC Compliance

Even with a lot of resistance to its use as a form of currency, Bitcoin and its blockchain technology have come a long way. It started the whole concept of cryptocurrencies and not only that its initial development and consequently increasing value and demand has spawned many new businesses. As with all businesses where some sort of money or monetary value is involved, there will always be the threat of money laundering, scams and threat of fraud either by the company itself or the end consumer. In this case, KYC compliance is essential not only to conform to rules and regulations set by the government or other regulatory bodies, but also to safeguard one’s own business and financial interests. We will elaborate more on what the businesses are and how they can benefit from knowing their customer and identity verification both in the short term and in the long run. At the end of this article we will discuss KYC solutions and what a business should look for when searching them.

Bitcoin and Blockchain Related Businesses

As mentioned previously, Bitcoin and the blockchain technology has given rise to many businesses that are centred around them. We’ll be taking a look at what they are and then in the next part  discuss how they can protect themselves through KYC compliance and identity verification.

Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Consultant With the ever rising popularity of Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies, more and more people turn to them as forms of investment and/or to use as currency. These people are constantly looking for experts in the field of Bitcoins and cryptocurrency for advice and consultancy on how they can get a piece of the crypto pie. This is a well paying and much sought after position. With the main requirement that consultants should be able guide people in all aspects including risk management  and minimisation.

Cryptocurrency Wallet – The concept of the Bitcoin or crypto wallet has been around since the first time that Bitcoin and Blockchain came into being. It provides a secure place to store the digital currency. As more people turn towards the making of these digital wallets we can see more innovation in the terms of the handling and security that these digital coin storage s/w provide.  

Bitcoin Trading and Cryptocurrency Exchange – This platform came into being following the stock exchange model. As people turned towards the cryptocurrency they looked for venues where they could trade cash and other cryptocurrency for Bitcoins and other digital coins and vice versa.

Cloud Based Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency Mining Bitcoin and cryptocurrency transactions require independent verification that can only be done through specialised software. As a reward for these verifications/hash checks people are awarded a certain amount of the cryptocurrency. This process is known as mining. Mining cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin and Ethereum requires expensive hardware, cloud based mining services provided a platform for investors with little capital to get in on the mining of these cryptos and get some in return. On top of dividing the hardware cost among small investors these mining operators charge a small service fee.

ICO (Initial Coin Offering) using the Blockchain Technology – This is the biggest business that has come about as consequence of Bitcoin and the blockchain technology. Similar to IPOs many companies and organisations are turning to blockchain technology and offering ICOs (coins) in return for funding by potential investors. Investors fund the said companies in return for these coins  which depending on the performance of the company are expected to increase in monetary value. Some companies even offer benefits and dividends in the form of discounts and alternate coins. Due to 

Bitcoin ATM – Bitcoin ATMs have become increasingly popular they allow people to purchase or sell their Bitcoins from the convenience of an automated machine similar to the ATMs that allow the withdrawal and deposit of cash.  

KYC Compliance and Identity Verification

The KYC compliance or Know Your Customer process and identity verification are not new concepts. In fact before the advent of online account opening, when you walked into a bank to open an account they would make you sit down and gather all your personal details. This is the Know Your Customer part. Before the account was opened, they would ask for some identification such as your social security number or an id card this part is the identity verification part. They needed to make sure that you really are who you say you are. This is not only to safeguard their own interests but also to make sure that other individuals are protected from any sort of fraud or identity theft. On a personal level, it helps organisations know their clients and customers better. Also, adding a personal touch to a business transaction is always appreciated and is a major part of developing rapport.

The government and other regulatory bodies that watch over financial companies, exchanges and businesses such as banks have a requirement for these organisations to maintain KYC and identity authentication. They do this to prevent money laundering, identity theft and to safeguard the money of the public from fraud. If businesses do not comply they are heavily fined and in worst case scenarios shut down.

Now more than ever, consumers are turning to the Internet for the majority of their financial, business and purchasing needs. Hence, these days the entire process of KYC has been made digital and can be done online. Also the same goes for identity verification it can be done online as well. In fact there are tech firms specialising in KYC solutions. Banks, online traders and companies are turning towards these specialised businesses for their KYC and identity validation needs. We will elaborate this in greater detail soon.

Ways KYC Compliance can Secure the Business

Having explained what KYC and identity authentication is by the use of an elaborate example, let us see how they can help the Bitcoin and crypto businesses.

Governments agencies and other financial regulatory bodies are working towards imposing strict regulations and rules on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. So the first point is if you are already compliant with existing KYC and authentication regulations then you have secured your business from heavy fines and even closing down.

Bitcoin and crypto exchanges, cloud crypto mining companies, Bitcoin ATMs and organisations offering ICOs all need to go through KYC and identity authentication. The simple reason is that they deal in credit cards or debit cards or fiat cash. Where these forms of payment are used the chances for fraud and the use of laundered money increases. Also, there is the chance of a chargeback with the use of stolen cards. A chargeback can also be associated with a legit person who saw there is no ID verification involved and hence, decided to report that they haven’t done the transaction and get the Bitcoins as well as the cash back.

Bitcoin wallets although do not deal in credit cards and cash in general, but they are liable to be investigated in money laundering investigations . It is imperative for them to ensure that they are compliant with KYC and authentication regulations to avoid bad repute and heavy fines. For crypto consultants it is necessary that they are aware of all regulations and understand the best practises involved in Bitcoin businesses, hence, it is essential for them to know about the various KYC compliance requirements and identity authentication rules and regulations.

What to Look For in a Digital Know Your Customer Service Provider

We have mentioned the reason for why Know Your Customer and identity validation procedures are essential for the protection of Bitcoin and crypto associated businesses. Now, we’ll discuss the points that such businesses should look for when searching out KYC solution providers.

Ease of Use –  This should be the first thing that companies should look for. A solution that can be easily integrated with the existing system is invaluable. Also, ease of use should be taken in context with your customer or client. It should be easily understood by your customer to avoid loss of business.

Speed – People in general do not like long time consuming processes and procedures and if they find that something is going to take a lot of time they will usually leave it. The entire Know Your Customer and ID verification process should be quick. Good companies offer verification times in the seconds.

Features – Since you will be paying for these services, the more you get for your money the better it is. Make sure that they offer both online and offline data collection and user verification services. Online or real-time verification allows clients to ask their customers to show their faces and identification right then and there. The entire process is recorded either by taking pictures or a video. Offline can give you the option to verify by having the customer submit in their documents for verification.

Technology – Most third party verifiers will say that they have an advanced AI that checks for any tampering with identification documents or any other suspected tampering such as wearing of masks during real-time checking. Better companies such as Shufti Pro will offer a hybrid system that includes AI along with human validation to give it that extra check.

Compliance – Another very important requirement is that the authentication service provider should be compliant with all rules and regulations associated with the industry. For example take GDPR that is being implemented in the EU. Non compliance or lack of it can result in heavy fines for the business as well as the service provider. So besides ensuring that you have secured  KYC compliance you need to make sure that your identity validator is aware and compliant with the latest regulatory developments in the industry.

With the surge in KYC.AML regulations around the world by authorities; it only makes sense to have a strong preemptive safeguard measure in place.

Challenges of KYC Compliance for Cryptoverse

KYC compliance or introduction of a KYC software on any crypto-based platform cannot go without hankering on both sides of the aisle. Regulators will have a strong desire to not allow “digital bandits” into the confines of a conventional financial system. On the other hand, a large number of crypto-enthusiasts will find a KYC service, totally against the very spirit of crypto verse. But the truth of the matter is that cryptocurrency is here to stay and so are financial regulations and more importantly KYC compliances. Cryptocurrency is the main tool to run the blockchain based economy and KYC regulations are a method to secure the interest of a common consumer.

KYC services for a cryptocurrency add an additional layer of security, which is a perfect match to the intrinsic anonymity of blockchain based cryptocurrencies. Digital KYC opens new avenues of collaboration between crypto-enthusiasts and those launching exciting new products using the infinite benefits of blockchain technology. So, the major challenges in the large-scale adoption of KYC solutions in crypto verse can be summarily described as:

The stigma attached to cryptocurrency:

Unfortunately, cryptocurrency in general and Bitcoin, in particular, have earned a bad reputation because of its earlier users being involved in several illegal activities. There is no doubt that the de-centralized nature of bitcoin attracted a large swath of people who wanted to use the virtual currency as a medium of transaction for their criminal activities. But now, even bitcoin and the majority of cryptocurrencies are being used for large-scale adoption of blockchain technology and to raise capital through ICOs.

Doubts originating from Volatility:

 Just recently, all major cryptocurrencies witnessed an unprecedented slump in prices.  Much like its huge price hike, there is no general consensus on the reasons for this volatile shift in prices. This also creates problems for businesses who want to integrate ID verification with their crypto wallets or want to use KYC and AML for their upcoming ICO.

Misunderstandings regarding KYC

This surely is the greatest challenge in the popular adoption of know your customer technology within the crypto verse. Most of the crypto-devouts believe that cryptocurrency is the easiest way of laying low and flying below the radar of financial regulators. They find it cheaper to perform transactions using cryptocurrencies. De-centralized nature of cryptocurrency and a pirate like a lifestyle is the idealization of the majority of people that oppose KYC for cryptocurrencies. Until and unless, this crowd of people is swayed to the fact that KYC services will help secure their vested interest from online scammers and digital fraudsters, it is virtually impossible to achieve large-scale adoption of KYC for cryptocurrencies.

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Shufti Pro

Tech Connoisseurs Present Shufti Pro for Digital Identity Verification

 

KYC compliant and Identity Verification SaaS, Shufti Pro, is launched for mobile and web-based integration.

BATH, United Kingdom – September, 2015 – A team of talented developers presents Shufti Pro, a SaaS that commences identity verification in real-time through facial recognition and document authentication using artificial plus human intelligence. It solves the current problem of manually having to fulfill the Know Your Customer (KYC) requirements by comparing photo IDs to other documents like driver’s license, credit/debit cards, passports, etc. It makes the task at hand much easier by making it accurate to 99.9% and making it the most cost and time efficient. Shufti Pro provides its customers with a sure shot and simplified way through which they can just hold up their documents to the camera and wait for merely 30 seconds before their documents are flawlessly matched and verified with their identity. The fraud protection service relieves its clients of the hassle and botheration of waiting in long queues to submit the documents by hand in order to get them certified.

Moreover, it reduces the chance of error by incorporating facial image matching, ID verification through holographic overlays, and document verification in the system to facilitate the confirmation of the truth of identity.To prevent the frauds and filter the impostors, Shufti Pro serves as an excellent source of ID checks online so that the real-world person is ensured to be the person who claims to be the owner of the legal identity documents. To detect this, the added layer of human intelligence, comprises of highly specialised personnel, expert at identifying scammers. They will immediately refuse suspected fraudulent customers who fail to pass the ID screening.

With Shufti Pro, customers will have a reliable source of accurate identity substantiation so they may proceed with their daily business transactions without any security concerns or false consumers to worry about, once it is integrated in their systems. Clients have complete authority at their disposal so they are free to use and market Shufti Pro with their systems, according to their terms. This innovation will shape the way digital identity verification has been carried out in the past and will revolutionize the process in a remarkable way. Shufti Pro is definitely the emerging big fish in the market.

About Shufti Pro

Shufti Pro is an emerging name in identity management and KYC/AML. It was founded on 31st October, 2016 in Bath, UK. The goal of the company is to enable its clients with seamless customer experience, fraud prevention and undeterred revenue generation. The company offers state of the art SaaS which engages Artificial Intelligence and Human Intelligence. Businesses can now conduct easy digital verification processes with lesser friction and more advance technology. Currently offered in 200 countries and supporting 150 languages, the company is located in United Kingdom with its global office in Sweden. Please visit Shufti Pro here.

Team Shufti Pro
info@shuftipro.com

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