Impact of Regulatory Scrutiny & AML Compliance in Real Estate

Impact of Regulatory Scrutiny & AML Compliance in Real Estate

Anti Money Laundering (AML): Criminals around the globe are targeting real estate to launder the ill-gotten gains. The political corrupts are taking large bribes and embezzle funds from their countries and send it across the world to hide that bad money. Money is stolen from the country to which they are mean to serve. Luxurious real estate is the point of attention for money launderers through which they scramble ways and find tricks to scoop up the illegal money. This money should be cleaned before it gets enjoyed by the corrupts. 

Real Estate, a fast-growing industry is under threat of money laundering.

Many nations are united and consider it a dire need to tackle money laundering problems that are growing rapidly through real estate. With the spotlight on real estate professionals, they are strongly in the need to comply with the local regulators to deter the risks of money laundering. The real estate sector should implement measures to authenticate the customers and make sure that the are selling the property to the legitimate ones otherwise it could be problematic for them when it comes to regulatory fines. Below are some of the states that are facing issues of ill-gotten money and the absence of their records. Also, how are they combating this issue by introducing legislation?

United Kingdom: According to Transparency International, £4.4 billion of the UK’s property is bought with suspicious money. In 2018, (AML) legislation was introduced according to which foreign owners were supposed to identify themselves. The purpose of this bill was to find out who is the owner of particular money. Although this bill has not been passed yet. By 2021, the registry will be made public. The property owners who fail to comply with this registry will be imprisoned for two years and fined. 

Germany: In 2017, about 30 billion of illicit funds were funneled in German real estate. These funds have no record of ownership and how the money was generated. Germany has also introduced a transparency registry, according to which all shell structures must report the property owners with the respective property. Failing to comply with it could cost them 1 million.

Singapore: To squash illicit money transfers, Singapore Parliament has passed regulations against money laundering and terrorist financing activities. In 2017, the investors in Singapore spend $37.2 billion in overseas real estate. Not only this, but their foreign real estate investment is also increasing with the current record of about $2.3 billion. Real estate owners are required to perform Customer Due Diligence (CDD) and Enhanced due Diligence (EDD) processes to check the ownership details and verify the identities who are actually buying and selling properties. The ones who fail to comply with this will be subjected to a fine of $100,000.

Canada: Real estate of Canada needs to report Finacial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC) to report the transactions that are greater than $10,000. Not only this, they are supposed to keep a track of buyers to have a record over the legitimate customers and the malicious ones.

AML Obligations for Real Estate

Just like banks and financial institutions, real estate is equally obliged to undergo practices to combat money laundering activities. Real estate brokers, firms, real estate management companies, and insurance companies need to perform CDD to ensure that no bad actors are becoming part of their company. Also to avoid hefty regulatory penalties, casinos must carry out intensive methods to avoid suspicious money flow. 

KYC: Know Your Customer, the ever-essential mechanism to undergo customer screening with the help of supporting identity evidence. The buyers should be identified and verified using the biometric authentication process, facial verification, document verification, AML, and id verification. This can help to ensure that authentic identity is onboard with your company. 

AML Screening: Anti-money laundering and Politically Exposed Persons (PEP) background checks should be implemented within the system to screen the customers against sanction lists and exposed personalities that are not allowed officially to buy or sell any property. These checks are extremely important to keep the company away from regulatory fines and value harm. Continuous and regular AML compliance must be assured and comprehensive records should be made simultaneously.

Updated AML Records: Accuity database should be updated with the latest information regarding exposed persons and criminals around the globe. This provides firms with confident AML screening which is updated and accurate. This will reduce the risks of avoiding identities that are should be in the sanction list are not entered yet.

The momentum of AML screening is building worldwide in the real estate sector. They have recognized the need of customer monitoring and verification to comply with AML legislation. The active response should be given by the customers and sector owners in adoption of these regulations and the individuals should co-operate respectively for the healthy law enforcement in the nation. Ineffective compliance can be severe in terms of local regulatory requirements. 

Kyc

KYC Compliance – Strengthening Fraud Prevention Across the Globe

Know Your Customer (KYC) : The widespread availability of the internet has made our world more connected than ever. This, however, has made our information more vulnerable to fraud. The ever-climbing fraud statistics continue to trouble consumers and businesses as well as regulators across the globe. Yet traditional practices for Know Your Customer seem no longer effective. With the increasing scrutiny of regulatory bodies and global financial regulators, businesses need to come up with an effective Know Your Customer or KYC Compliance process. The KYC process involves the verification of the identity of individual customers for preventing fraud and money laundering activities.

Traditionally, banks and other businesses performed KYC manually. However, manual procedures take longer and tend to frustrate customers. For banks too, manually verifying and vetting each customer can be costly and arduous. Herein, comes the role of SaaS KYC service providers. Providers of identity verification as a service, nowadays are using machine learning, advanced biometrics and a combination of Artificial and Human Intelligence capabilities to verify end users. It is an all in one solution that is equipped to fully automate KYC procedures in companies. 

A comprehensive KYC and AML solution can effectively fulfil a business’s KYC requirements. It not only makes the implementation of compliance obligations seamless but can also improve the onboarding process. Its KYC services include document, face and address verification along with global AML background checks. 

Some of the major KYC and AML procedures that Shufti Pro offers include;

  • Document Verification
  • Face Verification
  • Address Verification
  • AML Background Checks

Document Verification

A simple and efficient way for banks, financial institutions, e-commerce stores, crypto exchanges, ICOs and a number of other businesses is to verify customers through document verification. It allows businesses to verify users through multiple documents including ID cards, passports, driver’s license, credit/debit card, utility bills and other customised documents, that a business may need verification for, for its users. 

The verification of the document(s) can be personalised for business, according to its need to verify its users. For example, an online retailer would want to verify the address of its customers to avoid shipping fraud and errors. Different features of a document that can be verified include Name, Date of Birth, Age, Date of Issue and Expiration, Document Number (MRZ code, passport number etc.), Gender, Nationality etc.

The process of document verification for a business is simple and easy. All they have to do is select the mode of verification (onsite or offsite) and document checks they want. The rest is taken care of by the verification software. The process of document verification involves;

  • The end-user or customer comes in for verification and selects the type of document he/she wants to be verified by. It is up to the company to provide multiple options for its customers for verification including ID card, passport driver’s licence or any other ID document.
  • The user then scans their document(s) or uploads a copy of it to verify their identity. 
  • The system verifies the user using hybrid AI and HI technology in 30-60 seconds.

Document Verification

Face Verification

Face verification nowadays is normally performed through a facial recognition software developed on AI-based protocols. Biometric facial authentication is usually performed by businesses that run a higher risk of attracting fraud and financial crimes like money laundering, bribery and tax evasion. This may include but is not limited to, banks, insurance providers, investment firms, crypto exchanges, ICOs and forex companies. All such businesses are highly regulated and require additional protection from fraudsters and criminals. 

Performing facial verification is simpler than document verification and only requires the end user to show their face in front of the web camera. Alternatively, they can also upload a picture to authenticate their identity. The choice to verify the user through image or video or both lies with the company availing KYC services. An end user is verified in the following way in the face verification feature;

  • The end user comes in for facial verification
  • They show a fake or photoshopped image for verification
  • The facial recognition system declines the verification since it a fake image is being used for verification.

In another case,

  • The end user comes in for verification
  • He/She will show their actual face or image for verification
  • The verification is approved as the software detects the presence of a real person, or does not detect any photoshopped elements in the image used for verification.

Online Facial Verification

Address Verification

E-commerce sites, online retail businesses and banks often require address verification of customers in order to check if the person is using legitimate credentials to gain access to services. Address verification services allow for better and more convenient authentication of users around the globe. It is the fundamental solution for businesses to eliminate identity theft. Address verification further increases the accuracy in the shipping of orders allows companies to conveniently deliver merchandise to customers. 

Address verification is performed using a number of different documents including utility bills, bank statements, tax bills, ID cards, passports etc. The system is also able to corroborate addresses using different documents. Therefore, if either of the documents is forged or stolen, the system will stop the verification. The address verification process is performed in the following way;

  • The user selects the document using which he/she wants to verify their address. It is up to the company if they want to provide their customers or users with various document options with which they want to verify their address.
  • Scan or upload the document for address verification.
  • The system will use data extraction protocols to verify the address of the user.

Address Verification

AML Screening

Banking and financial institutions are required to perform customer due diligence (CDD) for individual customers and clients. For higher-risk individuals, they are obligated to perform enhanced due diligence (EDD) to evaluate, assess and eliminate the risk they pose to the institution. For more efficient risk assessment, AML screening of each individual client is a must. 

With an AML screening system, banks can now easily screen new and existing clients through a foolproof system. The screening process flags PEPs and high-risk individuals from a vast databank. It contains data from over 1000 sanction lists and 3000+ databases. Some of the lists through which end users are scanned include OFAC, FATF, DFAT Australia, FinCEN, CIA, FINMA and numerous others. The databank is updated every 14 minutes to account for any updates in the lists. Banks and other financial institutions can choose to implement batch screening or ongoing screening for their clients. Batch screening screens individuals in bulk in one request whose basic name and DOB are already known. In ongoing screening businesses operating in a high-risk environment can issue an “on-alert” status to clients with a greater risk profile. 

AML services are generally availed with KYC verifications and checks are run in the background. 

  • The system extracts a user’s Name and DOB from their credentials as they perform their identity checks.
  • The system will scan the person from global AML watchlists (FATF, OFAC, Terrorist Financing, FinCEN, DFAT etc.)
  • If the individual is flagged in any list their verification will be declined and the company will be notified of specific individual’s flagged status.
  • If they are cleared, their verification is approved.

AML Screening

Requirements for Each KYC Procedure

The documents required from each end user for a KYC verification depends on the company availing the KYC services. Each company has its own requirements about verification of its users. However, certain standard documents are used by most businesses to verify their users. These documents include ID cards, passports, driver’s licences and credit/debit cards. The company can choose to provide different options for verification for its users or set a standard document through which the person can be verified. 

Documents for address verification include, but are not limited to, utility bills, bank statements, tax bills, rent agreement, employer letter, insurance agreement and other standard ID documents. The AML checks require the full name and date of birth of an individual that can be extracted – or entered – during the KYC process. 

It must be noted that the requirement for each verification is set by the company availing the identity verification services. They may ask for only one or multiple documents for verification from each user according to the needs of their industry and the regulations they are obligated to adhere to. 

Industries that Adhere to KYC Compliance

KYC compliance applies to a vast range of industries. Different businesses need to adhere to KYC requirements of their region as well as the region(s) they operate in. Some of the many industries and businesses that require KYC procedures include, but are not limited to;

Kyc Compliance

  • Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) Industry
  • E-commerce businesses
  • Foreign Exchange Brokering Services
  • Cryptocurrency Exchanges or Companies dealing with or operating on cryptocurrency (ICOs, Bitcoin wallets etc.)
  • Freelancing platforms
  • Telecommunication Services
  • Travel and Hospitality Services
  • Peer-to-Peer Marketing
  • Online Gaming and Gambling 
  • Healthcare Industry
  • Real Estate Sector

Standard KYC Compliance Procedures Around the Globe

Every jurisdiction around the globe has its own set of regulations and requirements for businesses to operate safely. Different countries and regulatory authorities set their own standards according to their legislative structure. However, standard KYC requirements are fixed for most regions across the world. Most KYC Compliance Procedures are centred around: 

  • Digital Identity Verification.
  • Electronic identity Verification or e-IDV, that verifies individuals through different government or independent databases.
  • Address verification through different documents

Any specific distinction in the process of KYC exists based on;

  1. Use case – The use case for each business involves in what capacity a business might need KYC, how it would apply KYC procedures.
  2. Regulatory Requirements – regulatory requirements differ based on the type of industry, the level of risk an individual or business may pose and the region in which an enterprise operates in. For example, in a few countries including Germany, Spain, Switzerland and Austria the regulations require businesses to verify users through video conferencing 
  3. Type of Business – the risk associated with a business also comes with the industry it operates in and its nature. For instance, financial service firms are bound by more legal obligations than perhaps an online retail store.

Kyc Procedures

The identity solution from Shufti Pro offers universal language support, along with the ability to verify over 3000 documents. This allows us to verify users from over 230 countries around the world. Our AML databank includes names of Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) from over 1000 + sanction lists and 3000 + databases. It is currently catering to a diverse set of clientele ranging from financial services to online retail businesses to crypto companies. With the ability to verify users in under a minute, Shufti Pro can fulfil a business’s KYC compliance requirements with increased efficiency.

KYCC

The Urgency for Know Your Customer’s Customer (KYCC) in Businesses

It is not just the financial services sector that is required to comply with anti money laundering regulations. Businesses too are now required to implement certain regulatory measures to curb money laundering. A term that has recently been coined for such requirements is Know Your Customer’s Customer or KYCC. With increasing rules and regulations now being put forth by global regulatory authorities, banks and other businesses will now need to implement sound measures for KYCC.

Let’s get some background as to why knowing your customer’s customer is important. Entities like dummy or shell corporations are used for a number of purposes. Those motives need not be illegal every time; they can also be used to limit the liability of a company or for privacy purposes. But under a common perception, they are used for illicit purposes like money laundering, embezzling or tax evasion. This is due to the fact that shell corporations tend to have lesser legal compliance requirements.

As regulatory bodies like FATF or FINMA tighten the laws to combat money laundering, the leniency afforded to shell corporations diminishes. Heavy fines and penalties are being set for corporations and financial institutes all over to implement strong compliance procedures. There is an added pressure to implement a robust process of AML around the world. KYCC also falls under such rules and regulations.

Laws in most countries now require businesses to properly identify their customers. Moreover, they also require that a bank must make sure that their customer’s activities are legitimate and do not have any risk for money laundering associated with them.

How does KYCC help in Achieving Compliance Regulations

The complexity of financial transactions and the increasing advancement in technology make the whole process of maintaining and monitoring the financial system a challenging task. Keeping a track of one’s customer’s alone can be an onerous task on its own. Add to it the responsibility to monitor your customer’s customers, and your workload just got unimaginably tedious and complicated. However, the risk of letting your business fall into the pit of money laundering or other financial crimes is an even worse fate. The global financial regulators are no longer willing to let corruption and tax evasion fester. This makes it inevitable for the financial services sector to implement faster digital verification systems to speed up the process.

KYCC enables businesses to achieve an added level of security for their compliance measures. It allows banks to assess whether their customer’s customer is legitimate and every stakeholder in their business has genuine practices. As every country strengthens its laws on money laundering, it is becoming a necessity for banks and other companies to establish the lawfulness of their customer’s customer’s activities.

Moreover, obeying compliance requirements is not the only plus point of KYCC know your customer’s customer. It also allows a financial institute to manage its external risk and to build proper protection against money laundering and other illicit activities. Not building such compliance measures can have serious and dire consequences for a business. Noncompliance and detection of fraud or financial crimes in a company’s activities can involve heavy fines, sanctions and not to mention the loss of perfectly good credit to the business’s name.

Implementing KYCC Measures in Your Business

The first step in doing so is to implement a customer identification process. An effective customer identification program can enable the bank or corporation to make sure their clients have an authentic identity. This can be done through online identity verification. IDV allows banks to verify their client’s customers in a seamless and fast manner.

Most banks do not want their identification procedures to be long. Nor do they want to process and monitor large amounts of data. For this very reason, a lot of KYC service providers are rendering electronic identity verifications and AML checks for businesses including banks and financial institutes.

ID verification of customers is performed through document verifications, that allows them to digitally scan their documents for corroboration of their details. KYC verification service providers like Shufti Pro have a document verification service that scans a user’s documents, and the details within it, in seconds. This is performed through OCR or Optical Character Recognition.

Business verification has never been easier and efficient. Through digital identity verification solutions, banks can now establish the best methods to fulfil compliance and regulation procedures. Before now, companies have relied on manual or outdated verification procedures, that are painfully slow and cumbersome.

Shufti Pro’s KYCC services are top of the line that makes business verification easier for banks and other companies. Its customer identification process is fast and easily integrated into any given organization’s interface. Additionally, Shufti Pro also provides AML background checks as well that can screen a person’s name against global watchlists. This can allow companies to keep a track of not only their customer’s but their customer’s customer’s financial status.

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KYC For STO

4 Ways in which KYC for STO can Revolutionise the Crypto World

The year 2019 is expected to see a significant rise in STOs and have been called the future of blockchain investments. Know Your Customer or KYC for STO is considered to be a major part in shaping their future. The regulatory requirements imposed on STOs for being declared securities by the Securities and Exchange Commission makes them a lot safer to invest in.

ICOs dominated the crypto investment arena in the year 2017, raising over six billion dollars for startups and projects. The glorious bubble, however, burst almost too soon as it became known that nearly 80 per cent of those ICOs were a scam. The primary reason for that to happen was the fact that ICOs do not have any of the real value that is associated with actual securities.

STO over ICO?

Comparatively, a rather new blockchain instrument that emerged in 2018 is an STO. They offer the same benefits that a normal stock or bond offering does, including profit sharing and voting rights. They are essentially a real-world asset for an investor much like any other security offered by any company. Unlike an ICO which is only a digital token that can be used to buy other digital assets or can be liquidated at a crypto exchange. They are much less regulated than an STO and offer much less security on the part of the company or project offering them.

Read: KYC Services For ICOs : Why you need to have them now?

Ever since the SEC’s increased regulations on cryptocurrencies, the blockchain industry has churned up a more legitimate way for people to invest digitally in the form of security tokens. Since an STO has to be registered with the SEC, the company offering it has to fulfil all their regulatory requirements. By design, KYC solutions are a major part of those requirements and can potentially revolutionise the way STOs would be traded in the crypto world.

What is KYC for STOs?

Know Your Customer or KYC verifications are a simple and easy solution for any company initiating an STO to vet its investors. Primarily they are provided by a KYC service provider like Shufti Pro that provides digital verification procedures to check if any given user or investor has fraudulent credentials. KYC verifications are performed in the form of document verification, facial recognition and AML (anti-money laundering) checks.

AML compliance primarily checks if your investors are vulnerable financially or are involved – or known to be involved – in any money laundering activities. Shufti Pro as a KYC solution provider thereby checks an investor’s name against nearly 3000 watchlists issued by global regulatory authorities. These authorities include FATF, FinTRAC, FINMA and OFAC.

How KYC for STOs can be a Revolution

  • Protection from Fraud

Since their initiation, ICOs have been notorious for being fraught with fraudulent offerings. More than 80 per cent ICOs were known to be fake according to some studies. The KYC verification process required for STOs eliminates this threat entirely. The sole purpose of a KYC check is to check for any fraudulent investors and weed out any threats of identity theft.

 

  • Improve Reputation

By complying to KYC and AML regulations STOs can adhere to the regulatory requirements that many regulatory authorities have been urging the crypto sector to conform to. This gives cryptocurrency an opportunity to regain its confidence with both the investors as well as sceptical state bodies. Compliance with KYC requirements for STOs shows a strong commitment on part of the crypto industry to try and come to par with normal security offerings. It also allows them to enter the market for securities as a legitimate deal.

  • Boost Investor Confidence

The chance of fraud in ICOs made investors think twice about investing any sort of digital tokens. With security tokens being recognised by the SEC as a legitimate security offering, cryptos can now attract investors safely. As digital currencies are an innovative way to drum up investments for startups and projects, people are eager to invest if given the proper assurance for the security of their investments. When they see an STO adhering to KYC regulations and AML compliance measures they can be assured that their money is safe from any kind of fraud.

  • Develop a Smooth Investment Process

Tokens or securities offerings, be it an IPO, ICO or an STO are charged with glitches and last-minute errors. KYC solutions can help ensure a smooth process for STOs that has less of a chance to attract fraudulent or financially vulnerable investors. This can reduce the chance of any irregularities in the process of initiating an STO.

Shufti Pro has emerged in the industry of KYC as a service provider that dispenses top of the line KYC services to a vast array of industries including STOs. It also provides the best AML compliance checks for a company’s users and investors, thus ensuring the best fraud prevention services for its clients.

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KYC Know Your Customer

4 Know Your Customer (KYC) Strategies to adopt in 2019

Digital fraud haunted the cyberspace in 2018 with the majority of online frauds originating from either new accounts created through stolen identities (32%) or through account takeover of existing user accounts (23%). This created a nuisance for online businesses as customers cried foul and lashed out on digital companies for their lax security measures that failed to ensure the true identity of incoming users. With payment fraud recorded at 27%, online businesses were not also particularly secure from digital frauds eating into their cyber revenues. Identity verification services and KYC authentication seemed to be the logical answer to fight online frauds but online businesses were skeptical about the utlity of such services.

But surely after an ever-increasing barrage of digital fraud incidents, companies using digital channels to attract larger clientele will start taking KYC services much more seriously in 2019. Here are the 4 Know your customer strategies that must be at the forefront of digital fraud prevention for every business that wants to fend off fraudsters.

1.Hybrid KYC Options

It is highly important that instead of just opting for only one form of KYC solution, online businesses integrate various identity verification services to make sure that only authentic users are able to pass through know your customer process. Adapting to new verification standards is never hard for online fraudsters and scammers. Synthetic ID documents are the living proof of this fact. So the businesses that want to not lose any more revenue to users with fake credentials must move forward from simple document verification and the need for authentic ID cards for new customers.

Choose a KYC solution provider that supports a hybrid verification approach. For example, an ideal KYC service should not only perform biometric verification with the help of Facial recognition software but must also cross-check the unique facial features of a verifying person with the image present on the identity document, after checking the authenticity of the identity document. This approach will virtually make it impossible for an identity thief or synthetic identity holder to register ever again for a service provided by any business.

2. Swift Processing of KYC requests

Identity verification services are surely an effective way to prevent online frauds and thwart attempts to register with synthetic identities but it should not become a headache for authentic users. They should not be made victims for the vigilance against account takeover practices. Any Know your customer verification that takes more than a few minutes is a counter-productive and can make an online business lose customers as well. So any company that wants to integrate a reliable user Identification service, must make sure that the processing time for each verification request must be limited to a few minutes and should not exceed more than 5 minutes, regardless of the fact that which verification is being used to identify incoming clients.

Performing time-consuming user verification on the cost of loyal customers can never turn out to be a beneficial business practice, no matter how top of the line service a business promises to provide.

3. Collect Unique Consent from Users

Most of 2018 saw a tug of war between the online businesses and their consumers, where several instances were reported of customers complaining to never have used service but the support department telling them it was their exact credentials that were used to access and pay for the services. Cashback requests were mostly denied with customer trust being breached on several occasions.

Read: Benefits of KYC services for Money Services Operators

Online businesses can turn the wave in 2019 by collecting a verified consent from their customers. It can be in the form of some customized text or the customer showing their face along with their credit/debit cards. Phone verification or address verification are also viable options to collect consent from potential customers.

4. Try Handwritten Note Verification

Handwritten Note verification can serve as the ultimate form of KYC verification in 2019 with online businesses asking any kind of text to be written by a verifying user and send its picture for identity verification. It can either be a random code, the date and time at the time of verification, name of verifying customer with their date of birth or may be the address of end-user for sending items that they have just ordered on an online shopping website. Surely, the sky is the limit with the customization offered by a handwritten note as a source of unique identity verification service. As mentioned in the first point, online businesses can even use a handwritten note in conjunction with the face recognition service or authentic identity document for verifying the identity of an incoming user.

Handwritten note verificationAny business that wants to adopt any or all of the above 4 Know your customer strategies will fine Shufti Pro as a perfect tool to fight online scams, synthetic identities and identity frauds in 2019. It is an AI-based SaaS product using machine learning, liveness detection and OCR technology to authenticate the true identity of cyber users. Available in 230 countries of the world and with support for 150 languages, Shufti Pro is an ideal KYC service provider on a global scale.

Shufti Pro offers 15 days free trial of its services for all its customers that want to check the real-time verification results provided by this state of the art user verification service. So if you want to adopt a highly scalable and customizable identity verification service to reduce the risk of registering users with fake identities, then Shufti Pro is the right choice for your online business.

 

KYC & AML For Bitcoin

Here’s How Compliance to KYC and AML Regulations May Help Crypto Rebound

Cryptocurrency was the talk of the day in the months and even years leading up to the present weeks. Very recently, we have seen a drop in the mentions of cryptocurrency in online world. In early 2018, the value of cryptocurrency and tokens in the market was above $800 billion. This number has dipped below $180 billion, showing a fall of more than 75% in the previous 5 months.

Lack of Compliance to Regulations in ID Verification

The non-compliance to the laws set forth by national and international watchdogs with regards to AML compliances and KYC regulations has definitely been a major push for the downfall of the use of cryptocurrency, globally. There were high risks associated with the crypto trading because the KYC and AML regulations during the ID verification process were not being complied with, majorly. One reason may be the lack of awareness for the need of an automated identity verification system when trading cryptocurrency. Whatever the case may be, the crypto market has not proved to be safe enough for blockchain businesses and online platforms due to the increased rate of scams and frauds.

Another reason was the irreversible nature of the cryptocurrency transactions. This made it an easy target for people looking for a perfect means of money laundering – an ungoverned method of money transfer, i.e. cryptocurrency. Online and blockchain businesses found this to be a major issue. They found it tedious and cumbersome to take necessary steps for KYC and AML compliance for ID verification. Some of the countries had a specific set of rules that needed to be followed by the companies under their jurisdiction, in addition to the basic KYC and AML regulations. This put a lot of unwanted burden on businesses, which lead them to drop the idea or usage of cryptos and blockchain for their ventures, be it for a token sale or general payment transactions.

An American Economist, Mr. Rogoff said,

“I think bitcoin will be worth a tiny fraction of what it is now if we’re headed out ten years from now. Basically, if you take away the possibility of money laundering, tax evasion, its actual uses as a transaction vehicle are very small.”

(An interview with CNBC, quoted by express.co.uk)

This has proved to be surprisingly true as the situation stands today.

Stabilizing cryptocurrency through conventional Financial Regulations


The KYC and AML regulations are enforced by the FATF, an international organization responsible for the fight against terrorism and criminal activities. Their major regulation with regards to the cryptocurrency is centered around the idea that a money trail needs to be left behind, because if that is done, then money laundering can be prevented by tracing it back to the origins.

This can be done by the successful integration of KYC and AML solution in the systems at the banks, financial institutions, online businesses, payment processing platforms, blockchain businesses, etc. All the transactions in the crypto space are through wallet addresses and do not require personal details of the sender or the receiver, like name, DoB, etc. This further leads to the anonymity of transactions, and the laundered money is even harder to trace back to the source.

With KYC and AML services installed in the system, before every transaction is processed or the money is received by an individual, they would be required to go through an identity verification process, which would act as a record of their involvement in the process.

The Shift of Physical and Online Businesses to Blockchain

Another solution to stabilizing the cryptocurrency can be shifting the digital businesses to blockchain technology. The blockchain is a ledger that keeps a record of all transactions that occur. Even though with blockchain we can trace the transactions back to their original source, that alone is not enough to make exchanges secure. There are a lot of ways to dupe the blockchain system without the integration of KYC and AML integration in the ID verification system.

Merely recording the details of transactions does not ensure that the person performing the exchange is the same as the one whose credentials, account or identity are being used. In order to makes sure that the sender and the receiver are who they say they are, there needs to be an identity verification system in place. This system should be able to identify a person based on their ID documents and facial features. Many AML softwares also run the sender’s credentials against sanctions lists, watchlists and global government databases to screen for PEPs in criminal and terrorism lists.

If the person clears all the checks, only then can the transaction be processed. This not only leaves a proof in the form of images or videos but also helps the businesses keep a track of where their exchange went sideways. All in all, it will suffice to say that inclusion of KYC and AML in the ID verification process, along with a more controlled, and governed blockchain-based businesses can definitely help bring cryptocurrency back.

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Mistral Pay turns to Shufti Pro for KYC and AML Compliance services

Shufti Pro has joined hands with Mistral Pay to provide KYC and AML Compliance services to this Malta based payment gateway company. With main customer base located in European Union, Mistral Pay offers personal accounts as well as Merchant accounts to enable ecommerce business.

The collaboration between the 2 tech giants is based upon their mutual resolve of making online marketplace free of fraud and providing top-notch user experience to potential online shoppers. Because of its specific line of work, Mistral Pay was in need of an ID services provider that can verify the credentials of users to avoid the headache of cashbacks. This was becoming a major concern for Mistral Pay in an increasingly user-centric ecommerice world. Artificial Intelligence based KYC services of Shufti Pro proved to be a perfect match for the rigorous demands of ecommerce payments. Shufti Pro offered Mistral Pay to perform each document verification process in 30-60 seconds. The verification services suite of Shufti Pro also included AML compliance, that was another major requirement for Mistral Pay, as they wanted to avoid being subjected to unnecessary regulatory oversight.

CEO of Shufti Pro, Mr. Victor Fredung explains the partnership between the 2 companies in following words:

Shufti Pro is honored to be working with a client like Mistral Pay that is offering seamless payment services to such a large number of individuals as well as businesses at the same time. Our team of experts sat down with Mistral Pay executives and came up with practical workflows to not only ensure the validity of user credentials but to make the process entirely hassle free for end users”

Mistral Pay targets to make ecommerce payments easier for its users and Shufti Pro intends to make that resolve of its partner, a success story. Shufti Pro’s customization and support for large number of documents – especially European documents – will really help Mistral Pay to perform KYC authentication before bringing customers onboard their payment gateway.

GDPR Compliance was also a major factor for Mistral Pay in their decision to select Shufti Pro as their partner company for KYC and AML Compliance services. Non-compliance to GDPR could have caused million of dollars in regulatory fines to Mistral Pay but Shufti Pro has already ensured that its services are GDPR compliant which also safeguards Mistral Pay from any impending regulatory fine, in lieu of data collected for KYC or AML compliance

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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 advanced technology. Currently offering its services for all countries of the world along with Universal Language Support, the company is located in United Kingdom with its global office in Sweden. Please visit Shufti Pro here.

Shufti Pro Limited

info@shuftipro.com

190 Englishcombe Ln, Bath, United kingdom

About Mistral Pay

Mistral Pay is a Malta based payment services provider that is enabling online businesses in conducting e-commerce without worrying about payments and transactions. Accepting payouts from various means and payment modes, Mistral Pay is primarily used by ecommerce businesses based in European Union as third party payment gateway.

ONTology Signs MOU with Shufti Pro

Shufti Pro signs MOU with Ontology for Technical Collaboration

BATH, UK – (October 11th, 2018) Shufti Pro has recently signed a Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) with Ontology to work together for KYC and AML integration. Both these companies will collaborate to provide digital identity services all the while building on the trust ecosystem established by Ontology.

Ontology is a digital identity firm that has formulated a blockchain based distributed identity network. ONT IDs from Ontology support individuals, businesses, assets, objects, and affairs to authenticate and verify themselves in this digital age. The distributed identity network allows its users to create multi-factor identity portraits that can be verified, certified and used for identity verification on multiple platforms. On the other hand, Shufti Pro tends to verify digital ends of a person’s identity using a hybrid of Artificial and Human intelligence. It provides real-time verification results for a large number of solutions and services provided for digital identity verification.

Shufti Pro and Ontology shall work together to develop and refine digital identification tools that will enable businesses for online fraud prevention and identity theft protection. The MOU stipulates that both companies will work to provide compliance ready solutions for KYC and AML solely based on Ontology blockchain network. This joint collaboration will also focus on improving the overall accessibility of digital identification services into various markets across the globe.

Ontology’s Co-Founder Andy Ji explained the importance of this joint collaboration in the following words:

“The emergence of blockchain technology creates opportunities to discover potential and promising solutions. Ontology is pleased to begin this journey with Shufti Pro, combining blockchain technology with identity verification services, providing a blockchain-based end-solution for KYC/AML services”.

Speaking on the cooperation, Victor Fredung, CEO of Shufti Pro, said: “We are pleased to be starting our partnership with Ontology. We believe that the combined use of new and innovative blockchain technology with cutting-edge ID and identity verification technology is a powerful combination for global business operations.”

The MOU states following principle avenues of joint collaboration between the two companies for future:

  1. Ontology will provide technical expertise and consultation on Distributed Ledger Technologies.
  2. Both parties will collaborate in the development of KYC/AML solutions on the Ontology distributed blockchain network infrastructure
  3. Joint PR and marketing promotion of products and services.

This joint partnership between the two tech companies will usher in a new era of technological advancement in the field of digital identity verification services. With an aim of making the online marketplace secure against identity frauds, frequent cash-back requests and users with fake financial information, Shufti Pro has taken steps for superior customer service and top-notch data security.

About Shufti Pro

Shufti Pro is an emerging name in ID verification services. It was founded on 31st October 2017 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 to provide ID verification services. Businesses can now conduct easy digital verification processes with lesser friction and more advanced technology. Currently offering its services for all countries of the world along with Universal Language Support, the company is located in the United Kingdom with its global office in Sweden.

Please visit Shufti Pro here.

Shufti Pro Limited

info@shuftipro.com

Unit C401, Westfield Shopping Centre,

Ariel Way, London, W12 7FD

About Ontology

Ontology is a diverse, integrated, distributed trust network and the infrastructure for building a trust ecosystem. Ontology encourages trust cooperation and allows projects of all shapes, sizes, and technologies with different business scenarios and compliance requirements to pass through Ontology’s chain networks and take advantage of the distributed trust network how they see fit.

Shufti Pro Partners With nOS

nOS picks up Shufti Pro to conduct KYC for its ICO

Bath, UK (Oct 11th,  2018) nOS has chosen Shufti Pro as its partner to perform KYC verification and AML screening for upcoming ICO of its utility token by the name of nOS Token. Shufti Pro promises greater scalability and transparency for the investing partners of this blockchain based operating system.

nOS is basically a virtual operating system, that can be considered a hybrid of both an app store and web browser. It will have decentralized applications with open and transparent code running on NEO blockchain. The need for an identity verification product arose from the working principle of the entire venture. The owners of Utility tokens will give rise to an NEO smart economy which means that they will gain voting powers on the nOS platform. Developers of customer-friendly applications and contributors to the blockchain based OS environment will also be rewarded with utility tokens, creating loyalty among users and developers alike.

AML Compliance was the first concern for nOS executives as they wanted to engage a user base that was devoid of any financial risk. They also wanted a KYC verification system and AML compliance solution that utilized both artificial and human intelligence to reduce false positives. These specific requirements led nOS to Shufti Pro that was fully equipped to carry out all these tasks for its customers. GDPR compliance of Shufti Pro guaranteed that all the data collected for KYC verification and AML screening was according to the guidelines of EU. This also safeguarded the blockchain based venture from unwarranted regulatory penalties.

CEO of nOS , Mr. Dean van Dugteren, elaborated the importance of the partnership between the 2 companies in following words

“nOS aims to provide simplicity in terms of development and interaction for decentralized applications and games. What we noticed with Shufti Pro is that they clearly employ that same philosophy of keeping things simple, for developers and users alike. Shufti Pro’s APIs are easy to use, the platform support is great, and the back-end office is clear and visually pleasing.”

He also said that “I believe that Shufti Pro is doing things right and are leading the way as a digital KYC provider. For both traditional start-ups, and the blockchain industry.”

Mr. Victor Fredung, CEO of Shufti Pro, said on the occasion:

Shufti Pro is an innovative identity verification product offering multiple solutions for KYC verification and AML Compliance. The task to perform KYC verification and AML Screenings for an ingenious product like nOS was really exciting for us. All the concerns and queries of nOS management were fully addressed to make their upcoming token sale a success story. Due process was followed in the testing phase as well as the integration process to make the ICO of nOS token transparent and successful”

Shufti Pro will provide real-time results for KYC verification and AML screenings performed for investors interested in buying nOS tokens. Document verification will be provided by Shufti Pro in addition to document issue and expiry date verification. Shufti Pro will also play a pivotal role to take this ICO global as it has Universal Language Support which enables it to identify and verify the credentials printed on an identity document, regardless of the language in which those credentials are published. The country restricted feature from Shufti Pro is also integrated into KYC services offered to nOS ICO as they are not allowing token sale in China and USA.

About Shufti Pro

Shufti Pro is an emerging name in ID verification services. 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 to provide ID verification services. Businesses can now conduct easy digital verification processes with lesser friction and more advanced technology. Currently offering its services for all countries of the world along with Universal Language Support, the company is located in the United Kingdom with its global office in Sweden.

Please visit Shufti Pro here.

Shufti Pro Limited

info@shuftipro.com

Unit C401, Westfield Shopping Centre,

Ariel Way, London, W12 7FD

About nOS.io

nOS is a full-stack solution for decentralized application development, deployment, discovery, and interaction. It describes itself as a Virtual Operating System due to the distributed services it aims to offer for both developers and end-users. Think of nOS as an app store and web browser, a virtual operating system, with the ability to access a new, decentralized internet. On this new internet, apps work transparently and openly.

On nOS, applications and websites can be deployed in a completely open and decentralized manner by integrating smart contracts, client-side code, and public-key cryptography. Unlike server-side backend code, smart contracts can be open for all to read, allowing users to review how their data will be transmitted before any final commitments to action.

 

Shufti Pro

How Identity Theft Protection Can Increase Your Profit!

Identity theft protection is something that is not only a concern for ordinary users anymore. Businesses around the globe are also suffering from this cyberspace menace that functions in more than one way. The biggest reason why Identity theft protection has become such a headache for modern day businesses are the complex mechanism being used by cybercriminals. But before we go in detail that how an online business is at risk of losing revenue because online identity theft, it is important that a background is provided regarding this phenomenon

Why does identity theft happen

Well! The answer to this question is very simple. It is for the same reason that a crook commits a robbery or a criminal performs a carjacking. There can be different methods to hijack someone’s identity but the reason is the same for all such instances: use someone else’s credentials to utilize services or buy items that an identity thief doesn’t want to pay for. Millions of individuals suffer because of identity theft every year and online identity thefts have created a digital medium to exploit ordinary people.

How does identity theft happen online

Like in the real world, there are many ways to steal the identity of a person online. Naive users can be tricked into providing their personal information by posing to be a representative of an established company that wants to provide “extra incentive” to bring you onboard. Smarter criminals are using even more sinister tricks like hacking of large databases maintained by online stores and websites. Financial information stored by banks and financial institutions is routinely raided by cybercriminals that sell such information for a high price in digital black markets.

What to do when identity theft occurs

Well, it is hard to know that whether your identity has been stolen or not until you receive reports of some suspicious behavior or unsolicited purchases that you never made. Sometimes, users come to know about their stolen identity or credentials pertaining to their identity by press releases issued by companies that hold their personal information e.g. a social media website that you had an account on or the bank that provided the mortgage for your home etc.

How to prevent identity theft

There are several identity theft protection tips that can assist you in safeguarding your potential identity from falling into the hands of financial criminals.

  1. First and foremost is to use services of only the top of the line service providers. Such companies have the resources to spend an appropriate amount of money on the digital security of data that they have collected from their customers.
  2. Secondly, while surfing the internet, never provide your vital information to any service that seems shady or less than legitimate. It can be a trap to collect your identity information and use it to rob you of your hard earned money.
  3. Thirdly, never click on links that look suspicious. Web browsers have added features to alert the users whenever they try to enter a website that seems insecure or doesn’t match the necessary definition of a legitimate site.

Business identity theft protection

Although, much of the talk about online identity theft surrounds how a common user should behave online and what kind of information should never be divulged on the internet and the need to spend a serious amount of money on digital security. But more often then not, the debate over online identity protection forgets businesses that are also affected by online identity thefts. Frequent cash back requests received by online merchants because of identity theft cut down a big chunk of projected profits for an online venture.

How can businesses protect themselves from identity theft

Performing proper identity verification for new customers and even for the existing customers can do wonders for an online business. KYC verification software plays a vital role in ensuring that the customers actually own the identity that they claim. Identity verification services such as Facial verification, document verification, and address verification can formally secure businesses from encountering cybercriminals using fake or stolen identities for buying products or availing services.

Increase Your Profit

Once businesses start utilizing a reliable KYC verification service such as Shufti Pro, they are guaranteed to increase their profits by cutting down on frequent cash back requests. It will allow online merchants to properly check their customers before bringing them onboard. Profits will also soar because of higher engagement ratio that can be achieved by analyzing customer demographics and sales pattern based on user activity.

KYC verification from AI backed Shufti Pro will help you establish a relationship of trust with your customers. The legitimacy of your company’s services will be established in the mind of your clientele. Real-time verification results from Shufti Pro will also secure you from bottlenecks that are considered customary with ordinary KYC verification system.

Conclusion

So, if you are looking for ways to earn the trust of your customers, build a loyal customer base and, most importantly, need to boost your profits, then there is no better way than integrating Shufti Pro with your sales platform. We offer bespoke identity theft protection that will bring the number of users with fake identities to ZERO on your website. With features like Universal Language Support and OCR based data extraction methods, Shufti Pro emerges miles ahead of its competition in the KYC industry.

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