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    Enhancing Customer Compliance: Know Your Customer (KYC) Banking

    The banking industry relies heavily on the Know Your Customer (KYC) process to check customer identity and determine the likelihood of financial crimes. As the banking industry becomes increasingly digital, KYC banking compliance is essential for every business due to threats of online banking, such as fraud, identity theft, money laundering, etc. 

    As the banking industry is becoming increasingly digital, Compliance with KYC banking regulations is more important than ever. According to research conducted by the Financial Accountability Transparency and Integrity (FACTI) panel, money laundering contributes approximately 2.7% of global GDP annually. A US bank pays more than $2 billion annually in fines for money laundering. KYC banking has come into vision after the advancement of online banking which may lead to many cases relevant to money laundering. Most money laundering cases are linked to digital fraud, identity theft, drug trafficking, and other criminal activities.

    This blog will explore the importance of KYC banking, the challenges that banks face in implementing KYC procedures, the benefits of adopting digital KYC verification solutions, and how they’re shaping the future of customer onboarding in the banking industry.

    KYC Banking – Overview

    The banking sector utilizes KYC banking solutions to verify the identities of potential customers and assess the risk of financial crimes. The regulations for KYC banking procedure may vary from country to country, but here are some common procedures that are included in every KYC banking program: 

    • Identity Verification

    Identity verification is the process of checking the names, addresses, and social security numbers on government-issued identification cards against databases maintained by the government and third parties to ensure customer authentication.

    • Customer Screening

    Customer screening is basically used for careful consideration of the customer, ensuring that the customer does not engage in illegal activities by examining company reports, media coverage, past transactions behavior, and terrorist watch lists.

    • Customer Monitoring

    Customer monitoring involves regular monitoring of customers and the transactions they make on a regular basis to prevent risk, suspicious behavior, or fraud. KYC is a component of the customer lifecycle management (CLM) process, which begins with the customer’s onboarding and continues throughout the customer’s relationship with the bank. CLM also includes things like account management, marketing, launching new products, and filing tax returns.

    Importance of  KYC in the Banking Industry

    Banks and other financial organizations are required by law to follow Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures in order to identify the customers with whom they conduct business. They are an essential component of the anti-money laundering (AML) legislation that nearly every nation requires. There is a legal requirement of KYC banking in financial organizations to minimize the potential risk of identity theft, money laundering, financial fraud, terrorist financing, and other financial crimes. 

    Anti-money laundering regulations were introduced in 1970. Under the Patriot Act, the United States enacted stricter KYC requirements after the 9/11 attacks. The terrorist attacks provided the political impetus necessary to implement these changes, even though they had been in the works for several years. To combat financial fraud, money laundering, and identity theft, current 

    KYC procedures use a risk-based approach:

    Identity Theft 

    KYC banking makes it easier for financial organizations to prove a customer’s legal identity. Moreover, it provides KYC compliance to identify fake accounts and mitigate identity theft from stolen documents.

    Money Laundering 

    Fake bank accounts are used by organized and unorganized criminal organizations to store funds for narcotics, human trafficking, smuggling, extortion, and other activities. KYC banking helps in hindering the activity of criminal organizations by spreading funds using different KYC accounts in order to avoid any suspicious activity.   

    Financial Theft 

    KYC helps stop fraudulent financial activities, such as loan applications using a fake or stolen ID, and then getting money from a fake account.

    KYC Banking: Challenges Faced by Banking Sector

    • Account Takeover (ATO)

    When criminals steal money from their victims and keep using their bank accounts to hide the money they stole and transfer it to other accounts, this is called an account takeover. 

    • Identity Fraud

    Theft of an individual’s identity occurs when a criminal uses a victim’s stolen documents to open accounts, obtain loans, and establish businesses rather than stealing the victim’s money. 

    • Synthetic Identity

    Synthetic identity is the creation of a new identity using fake names, social security numbers, and addresses. 

    Conclusion:

    With the rise of AI-powered technology, KYC banking solutions help the banking sector to counter criminals and comply with global regulations. Due to the increasing rate of financial crimes in the banking sector, there is a need for Know Your Customer (KYC) banking solutions to meet financial challenges by identifying customers’ identities and protecting businesses from fraud, financial crimes, and any other illegal activity. KYC banking solutions can provide a fighting ground for the banking sector by encountering criminals and complying with the business’s needs to meet its legal regulations. 

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