Leading UK anti-money laundering (AML) and ID verification firm SmartSearch is launching the most comprehensive business-owner verification solution on the market, in a bid to counter the spike in the number of scams involving fake businesses.
The RegTech specialist has expanded the number of countries where it can carry out a business check to 165, and is targeting regulated firms in the legal, banking and financial services sectors with the enhanced service.
Under the 5th EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive, Know Your Business (KYB) regulation requires firms to have an understanding of the ownership of any business they are entering into a commercial relationship with.
But in 2020 there has been a dramatic increase in the number of fake businesses being created by organised crime gangs, in order to commit fraud. And with little ID verification required to create a business, SmartSearch says it is a wide-open back door that is being exploited by fraudsters.
The SmartSearch business verification will cross-check the details given with multiple data sources including Companies House, Experian, Equifax and Dow Jones Politically Exposed Persons (PEP) and Sanctions lists, to ensure the most accurate pass rate.
John Dobson, CEO of SmartSearch said most regulated businesses will do their KYB checks manually, using physical ID documents such as passports and driving licences, but it is much quicker and more reliable to use an electronic platform.
He adds: “Regulated businesses in the UK not only need to be compliant with Know Your Customer (KYC) legislation but also KYB. Otherwise they are seriously exposed to fraud and also to financial penalties from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
“The expansion of our global database will cement our position as the most comprehensive anti-money laundering and ID check system on the market. We partner with the world’s best data suppliers to provide a ‘one-stop-shop’ for anti-money laundering checks which means SmartSearch has the most robust verification for KYB on the market.
“It makes sense to do a SmartSearch as you can validate the identity of a business and its directors in less than three minutes. That means it takes about the same time to do a SmartSearch as it does to make a cup of tea, and it will not only protect your business from fraud, but also ensure you’re compliant with current regulations.
“With SmartSearch solutions available via a web browser or API connections, businesses can be up and running and operational within 24 hours.”
SmartSearch is already the only AML platform that is able to verify individuals and corporate clients wherever they are based with full Sanction and PEP screening and ongoing monitoring.
No other provider offers this level of depth and breadth of functionality making SmartSearch unique in the marketplace and the essential “one-stop-shop” for all Know Your Customer (KYC) and Customer Due Diligence (CDD) needs.