Three tips for optimising your know-your-customer process

Optimising your know-your-customer processes is a crucial strategic measure beyond compliance with AML/CFT regulations. In this blog, we will explore three essential tips to enhance the efficiency of your KYC process and ensure compliance.
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Due to increasing regulations, strengthening your know-your-customer (KYC) processes is more critical than ever. Around 62% of financial institutions and banks find regulatory expectations as one of the biggest challenges in their compliance process. 

At the same time, KYC is more than simply complying with the regulations on anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT).

It's a strategic measure to ensure security for your business, meet customer expectations, expand globally, manage reputation, gain insights into data, and foster business growth.

In this article, we will explore essential tips to help you get your KYC in order, enhance efficiency, and ensure compliance.

What is KYC, and why is it important for your business?

KYC, or know-your-customer, is the process of verifying and assessing your customers' identities and risk levels. 

This procedure is essential for regulatory compliance and reducing risks associated with money laundering, fraud, and other financial crimes. 

KYC ensures your company maintains a secure operating environment and builds customer trust.

Non-compliance with regulations can result in severe consequences, such as financial penalties, legal actions, reputational damage, and business disruptions. 

Besides compliance, it's important to implement a KYC process for several reasons:

  • Your company is protected from legal and regulatory risks, such as fines, sanctions, lawsuits, and reputational damage.
  • Your customers are safeguarded from identity theft, fraud, and other harms that could compromise their trust and loyalty.
  • You can understand your customers better, for instance, their needs, behaviours, and risk profiles. This information helps you tailor your products and services, improve customer experience, and increase retention and loyalty.
  • It allows you to expand your business globally by complying with different jurisdictions' KYC requirements and standards and by accessing new markets and customers.
  • You can enable business growth by reducing operational costs, increasing efficiency, and enhancing revenue opportunities.

How to optimise your KYC process

Improving your KYC process can be challenging, especially if you rely on manual methods that are prone to errors, delays, and inconsistencies. One study shows that up to 60% of KYC review tasks are still performed manually within financial institutions.

By following these three practices, you can optimise your KYC process and achieve better results for your business:

1. Screen customers against relevant and up-to-date lists

To ensure accurate KYC results and reduce false positives, you need to Screening customers against relevant and up-to-date lists, such as:

  • sanctions lists;
  • politically exposed persons (PEPs) lists;
  • adverse media;
  • and other relevant watchlists.

You can utilise comprehensive KYC solutions to enhance the reliability of your screening processes. By leveraging such screening tools, you can minimise risks and ensure compliance. 

Moreover, you can use optimal KYC data to reduce false positives and significantly save time and resources.

2. Incorporate KYC processes into the broader risk assessment of your business

KYC is not simply a one-time activity, but a strategy that requires regular review and updates. 

Customer information can change within 6-12 months due to life events, business changes, or other factors affecting their risk profiles and compliance status. 

Therefore, you need to integrate your KYC processes into your broader risk assessment framework and monitor your customers' activities and transactions on an ongoing basis. 

Doing so allows you to adapt to changing risk scenarios, make informed decisions, and link your KYC data to your ongoing due diligence processes. 

For example, if a customer's risk profile changes due to a new business venture, you can proactively adjust your risk mitigation strategies and perform enhanced due diligence. 

This integration ensures comprehensive risk management and compliance.

3. Establish a scalable KYC process

As your business grows, your KYC process needs to be flexible and scalable to accommodate new clients and evolving compliance requirements. 

Onboarding new clients, including different types of customers, such as individuals, businesses, or entities, should be consistent, fast, and easy, rather than cumbersome and time-consuming.

To achieve this, you need to invest in a scalable KYC solution that can handle increasing volumes of data and simplify onboarding processes. 

For instance, you can use Trapets Screening to enable instant screening and onboard new customers faster and more efficiently. Establishing a scalable KYC process allows you to onboard clients effectively and focus on growth without hindrances.

Conclusion

KYC is a vital process for your business, not only for complying with regulations but also for enhancing your performance and growth.

Following the best practices and tips can improve your KYC process and achieve better results.

If you need help with your KYC process, you can contact us and try our screening solution, which can help you verify and assess your customers' identities and risk levels and onboard them faster and more efficiently.

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