SmartSearch’s new ‘Source of Funds’ technology can identify ‘dodgy’ transactions and dirty cash in less than a minute

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Digital compliance specialist SmartSearch has launched a new service so regulated firms can spot and prevent criminals from attempting to use their businesses to clean their dirty cash.

The new ‘Source of Funds’ technology uses open banking to enable banks and financial services companies, legal, property, investment, insurance gaming, crypto firms, and more to determine the source of the funds their customers are using.

The innovative solution can access bank statements to gather key financial evidence in less than a minute, enabling regulated businesses to ascertain where their customers’ funds are coming from.

This is absolutely vital for the property sector, financial services, legal firms, crypto and gambling firms, all of which are common targets for financial criminals looking for ways of legitimising their ill-gotten gains, and when combined with identity checks, will help firms identify and prevent money laundering and fraud.

SmartSearch managing director and qualified lawyer Martin Cheek said: “Many regulated firms incorrectly assume that if they have verified a customer’s ID, they do not need to check their source of funds, but this is absolutely not the case.

“An individual with no previous record of being involved in financial crime could be looking to bring in illegitimate funds - or they could be inadvertently accepting dirty money - either way, an ID check alone is not going to pick that up, you need both for a true picture of what is going on.”

Cheek says the other common mistake regulated firms make is assuming that funds transferred from a bank are clean by default.

“Many firms assume that if the funds are from a bank, they are legitimate, but this is not necessarily true. An investigation by Transparency International discovered that, whether unwittingly or otherwise, 86 UK banks and financial institutions helped money launderers obtain, move and defend corrupt or suspicious wealth.

“Therefore, firms need to investigate the source of their customers’ funds for themselves – including how they got into a legitimate bank account in the first place. Without this level of due diligence, criminals are still going to slip through the net.”

SmartSearch’s platform offers the very latest in identification and verification techniques alongside new source of funds technology to offer the most throughout due diligence on the market.

Our triple-bureau credit checks and real-time biometric technology can authenticate both the ID presented and the person presenting it to ensure they are who they say they are. We can then screen the individual against Global Watchlists to identify any sanctions or PEPs and then run source of funds checks to ensure that the money being used is coming from a legitimate source.”

How SmartSearch can help?

Using SmartSearch’s services not only enables clients to quickly and accurately identify any suspicious activity and prevent fraud, but also ensures they are meeting all their regulatory requirements.

Furthermore, because the process is so efficient, it also improves customer onboarding by drastically reducing the workload – and errors - associated with manual checks.

Cheek concludes: “Source of funds checks can prove instrumental in the fight against money laundering, and we are proud to provide businesses with a powerful tool that not only uncovers the true origin of funds but also disrupts the activities of criminals.

“With the source of funds feature, SmartSearch continues to lead the way in delivering comprehensive compliance solutions."

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