Technology has introduced a world of extraordinary economic potential by connecting organizations and customers over conventional barriers of language and geography. However, it has considerably raised the threat and difficulty of doing business throughout Europe and the rest of the globe as a result.

Organizations are under increasing pressure to detect, evaluate, and know exactly who they’re involved in business with, in order to mitigate the global terror threat and economic fraud. This pressure presents itself in the form of Know Your Customer or KYC legislation and different Anti-Money Laundering (AML) guidelines. 

While exact regulation differs by area, the FATF rules and guidelines ensure that essential compliance obligations are largely similar across the world. Any company that does worldwide business must also be agile and foresighted in order to fulfill the KYC legislation of each client’s individual country.

Know Your Customer and its Importance

In its most basic form, KYC refers to the ability to distinguish between positive as well as negative clients. “Negative ” indicates somebody with governmental or criminal ties, or who has a background that makes them a significant risk for the organization.

Historically, obtaining high-quality KYC data is a time-consuming, complex, and unreliable job.

Nonetheless, financial firms worldwide have been obliged to do this for a long time now. After all, loan funds to or manage someone who is at high risk or may be engaged in illicit activities. 

Many other sectors are only now confronting the facts of global commerce and implementing KYC legislation requirements. However, this is a completely new practice for many companies, leaving them confused about how to obtain, integrate, and evaluate the necessary data.

Four Major Objectives of KYC:

Organizations must generally keep track of clients’ business nature, the origin of money and assets, and the intention of specific transactions.

When acquiring KYC data using a risk-based strategy, there are four key goals:

  • Identify customer
  • Validate the customer’s real identity
  • Recognize the client’s actions and origin of funding
  • Keep track of the client’s activity

Although there are multiple high-quality free data sources, such as browsers or public records. But obtaining precise data from this large array of resources takes a significant amount of effort. This is just not a viable long-term strategy for any company. It is also critical that all sources be reliable and trustworthy. That’s why implementing KYC compliance software becomes necessary.

Three Steps of KYC legislation framework

Identifying the Client

Before reviewing a customer’s identity papers, all accessible data is verified and analyzed for irregularities. Businesses must ensure that their prospective consumer is not included on any of the watchlists. 

Businesses also need to confirm whether their prospective client is Politically Exposed because it is strongly considered that a PEP (Politically Exposed Person) is more vulnerable to financial crimes. Therefore, such consumers should be regarded as in high danger.  

Client Due Diligence

The customer due diligence phase involves gathering all available information regarding the client from reliable sources, defining the purpose, and ultimate beneficial owners (UBOs), and surveilling the client on an ongoing basis to make sure that all activity is coherent with documented customer data. 

Enhanced Due Diligence

If the client is considered to be a bigger risk than anticipated, further due diligence is necessary.

Clients with political vulnerability (PEP), current engagement with adversaries, or a client whose country is in the 6AML Directive’s list of “High-Risk Third Countries” are considered high-risk. Enhanced due diligence methods often involve more extensive client monitoring and deeper research analysis.

The most effective method to be compliant with KYC legislation is to include data collecting and analysis into current procedures, such as customer onboarding. However, consistently executing these procedures at large may be challenging and time-consuming. To solve these difficulties, automation is becoming increasingly important in KYC/AML regulations.

What is AML and How it’s Connected to KYC? 

AML is a catch-all word for the ever-changing rules and regulations in place to combat money laundering and other associated economic crime. AML regulation is much broader and includes KYC legislation as one of its criteria.

The 6th Anti-Money Laundering Directive (6AMLD) officially defines AML law in Europe, and it encompasses everything from KYC legislation and cryptocurrencies to internal business policies that particularly address money laundering and terror finance.

How to stay KYC?AML Compliant

Stay Informed

Because KYC/AML rules and regulations are always changing, it’s critical to stay on top of new updates and guarantee they’re understood and obeyed throughout the organization. Keep an eye out for new innovations and reliable information sources. 

Know Your Customer Thoroughly

It is critical to have a complete KYC system software that includes specific protocols for client Identification & Validation, client Due Diligence, and Enhanced Due Diligence.

An Ethical Organizational Culture

Because KYC/AML regulations necessitate rules and practices that are consistently followed throughout the organization, it is critical to creating a culture of ethical behavior that is conveyed from the top down. Training sessions for all employees are vital, with active engagement from upper executives, especially board members.

Conclusion

Even though not every business sector has made KYC legislation a necessity, still comprehensive KYC compliance is increasingly becoming the standard worldwide. A robust KYC software can assist organizations in meeting KYC and AML regulatory requirements, whether they are an obligated entity or not.

Companies can make the KYC decision-making process rapid and accurate with the assistance and supervision of reusable KYC solutions

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