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KYC (or know your customer) is an acronym that refers to the process of
identifying your customer or client, and then verifying that identity. In short
– KYC checks allow you to confirm that a person is who they say they are, by
inspecting their ID documentation.
This initial step
is a crucial part of any company’s risk-based approach to AML compliance, as it hugely reduces the chance of entering into business with someone
committing fraud, or involved in financial crime.
eKYC is therefore
the electronic version of the know
your customer process. It’s worth noting that this method relies solely on
digital resources and electronically submitted data, in order to successfully
verifiy the ID of a person or company.
Over the last decade, businesses across the
globe have undergone a process of end-to-end digitisation. From onboarding
clients to setting up payment portals, booking systems or moving business
records online, almost every aspect of business has been subject to a digital
For a large portion of 2020, the Coronavirus
pandemic made manual ID via the assessment of physical documents impossible. Cut
to 2021, and your modern, smartphone-wielding clients and customers are likely
to expect every stage of business to be possible remotely – including registration
But the eKYC process is a sophisticated one, and
many firms are struggling to provide an online verification service that meets the
standards of global regulatory bodies. This is where third-party RegTech
companies – like SmartSearch – come in handy.
The most common way of performing eKYC is using electronic
documents to verify identity. This process is usually referred to as EIDV, and generally involves a
combination of private information, and some details that are available on
When a customer provides personal details like
full name, address and date of birth, an EIDV tool will check that the
information given corresponds with their digital footprint. Advanced platforms
like SmartSearch can quickly filter through thousands of images and forms
online, to achieve a reliable, accurate ID match in seconds.
Along with electronic document verification,
there’s also video KYC – a system where customers record a short video of
themselves on request, which is then used to verify their identity. The subject
of the video can be cross-referenced with other existing photos and forms of ID
available, and this is how their identity is confirmed. More and more businesses
are turning to video KYC at the registration stage – including online banks
like Monzo, and even dating apps.
Another interesting component of video KYC is the
introduction of a ‘liveliness factor’, which is often requested to authenticate
the recording. The liveliness factor could be an action – like a wave or a specific
gesture – which the customer is required to perform in the video, but it could
also be a phrase or sentence.
For example, the customer might be asked to
record a clip during which they raise their hand, or say their name out loud. This
ensures that the video they submit hasn’t been prerecorded, so it reduces the
chance of falsification or ID fraud.
proud to offer an industry-leading AML compliance solution called TripleCheck. This product is one of the most sophisticated
eKYC methods on the market, and comprises three different levels of
Stage one: ID
verification with sanctions and PEP screening.
In this first step, the initial ID verification is carried
out using a combination of public and private information, and the customer or
client is then screened against sanctionsand PEP
lists to determine their risk level.
Stage two: facial
recognition, document capture and liveness appraisal.
Next, photographic ID is examined and a Selfie Liveness
Video is submitted by the customer. We use the latest biometric facial
recognition technology to confirm that their physicality matches the documents
Stage three: digital
fraud checks with data referencing and triangulation.
TripleCheck will give you a holistic risk score for your potential client or
customer, which is calculated using fraud-risk indicators. You’ll also be given
advice and support on any recommended enhanced due diligence.