Can you automate Know Your Customer compliance?

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Can you automate Know Your Customer compliance?

27th November, 2017

One of the biggest challenges banks and corporates both face is identifying their customers so they can comply with Know Your Customer (KYC) and other regulatory requirements. GTNews spoke with Know Your Customer Limited (KYCL) co-founder, Richard Barrett, at the Singapore Fintech Festival to find out more about the complexities of KYC and how a start-up has innovated to solve the challenges.

The fundamental challenge

The firm was started, Barrett said, after he encountered difficulties in sending money. When he tried to transmit money overseas from China for some clients, for instance, it was difficult to find a bank that would handle the funds because KYC was so challenging.

As a lawyer, he said to himself that “I know the law. There has to be an automated solution.” After an extensive search, however, he found that there wasn’t an easy answer. “We talked to banks. While certain companies were providing corporate information, none were providing a sufficient solution.” The processes he saw gave a layman’s response and would not have been sufficient for a bank, let alone a regulator.

To develop a solution, Barrett said “a few of us got together. It took longer to do it than we thought – two and a half years.” The process for developing it provides insights into both the complexity of the KYC process and the unusual steps the firm had to take.

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