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What are KYC & KYB checks?

What is KYC?

KYC Meaning: When you’re looking to do business with a new customer or client, KYC checks - or Know Your Customer checks - are the essential checking processes that verify their identity.

What is KYB?

KYB Meaning: KYB - or Know Your Business - follows the KYC process however, it refers specifically to completing checks on a business rather than an individual.

Implementing a KYC process or KYB process for any new business is the start of any robust AML checks and the duty of every business. 

Why is it crucial to have a KYB and KYC process?

Of course, it’s not enough to simply ask ‘what is KYC?’ or ‘what is KYB?’ - to understand its role we have to question why it’s so important for businesses.

The EU’s money laundering directives dictate that every business in the regulated sector must apply a risk-based approach to their anti-money laundering checks. KYC and KYB checks are a key component in this approach. 

If you need to implement a fast and accurate KYB & KYC process for your business, SmartSearch can help. Just read on to find out how.

How do KYC and KYB checks work?

Also known as customer due diligence – KYC and KYB checks effectively enable a company to verify the identity of a client or customer. To do this, the firm will need to obtain crucial details about the individual or business, to cross-reference against other reputable sources.

As you’d expect, the information required inevitably varies according to whether it’s an individual person or a business that’s being verified.

What’s the difference between KYC and KYB?

When it comes to KYC vs. KYB, the key difference is in the information needed to verify identity. If you’re carrying out KYC checks you’re verifying the identity of an individual, so you need access to details like their full name, date of birth and address. KYB checks on a business on the other hand will require documentation relating to their business.

What KYC checks involve

What is KYC checking? KYC checks are intended to verify the key aspects of the identity of an individual and the risk level that they pose, for instance, whether they are a PEP or politically exposed person. This usually involves checking details such as the individual’s full name, date of birth and address.

What KYB checks involve

What is KYB checking? KYB checks are intended to verify the existence of a business. To do this, you’ll need to check certain details which can include:

How do KYC and KYB checks help with compliance?

These checks help you to assess the suitability of an individual or business – prior to the official onboarding process. KYC and KYB checks will also identify any politically exposed persons, persons of significant control, or ultimate beneficial owners – all of which would be classed as high risk customers. 

If you do decide to go into business with a client or customer that poses a greater risk, you’ll need to adjust their approach in line with this. That might mean performing enhanced due diligence, or having more comprehensive ongoing monitoring, to keep tabs on any change in status.

How do KYB and KYC checks assist with AML?

AML - or anti-money laundering - is the duty of any firm doing business with other businesses or individuals. KYC checks are one of the key ways that you can play your part in keeping money laundering at bay and avoid becoming susceptible to criminals using your business to ‘wash’ illegal funds. 

The best way to start your AML strategy is to implement a robust KYB and KYC process for any new business. 

SmartSearch can help

Now that you better understand the answers to ‘what is KYC?’ and ‘what is KYB?’, the next question to answer is: how can you make your KYC and KYB process watertight, accurate and fast?

Many regulated businesses perform KYC and KYB checks manually, by requesting physical copies of ID documents, such as passports and driving licences, then cross-referencing these details against sanctions and PEP lists.

Using an automated system from a reputable KYC provider is not only quicker, but also more reliable, as there’s no margin for human error as with manual checks, and no stone is left unturned.

Fast and accurate KYB and KYC checks at your fingertips

At SmartSearch, we perform automated KYC and KYB checks using the Dow Jones Watchlist– an international database made up of over 1,100 lists worldwide. This database contains extensive profiles on both individuals and businesses, which are updated every day for maximum accuracy.

In fact, our full-service electronic AML platform cross-references the details provided against multiple data sources, including Companies House, Experian, TransUnion and Equifax, as well as Dow Jones PEP and sanctions lists. This system enables us to provide a pass or fail result for the identification of an individual or business, within a few seconds.

Get in touch

If you’d like to explore how SmartSearch can help you streamline your KYC and KYC process, get in touch today to speak to the team and request a free demo.