Navigating The Complexity of Ownership From The Lens of Sanction By Extension

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Lapses in UBO Identification, Sanctions Compliance, and Corporate data

Tuesday, 30th April. 13:00 - 14:00 London Time (GMT+1)


Mark Bain


Louie Vargas


Michael Harris


Streamline Business Operations and KYB Onboarding Processes

28 September, 2023

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Know your business or KYB refers to the due diligence process for businesses and corporate clients or partners. When a company decides to work with another business, it evaluates the risk and fraud associated with the counterparty, considering the financial transactions between them. This is where proper KYB onboarding helps. According to a recent report, companies that successfully complete KYB compliance for onboarding save an average of $1.45 million in compliance costs per year. Globalscape reported that organizations lost roughly $4 million in revenue due to a single non-compliance event and failure to use KYB compliance during onboarding. 

What is KYB Onboarding?

KYB onboarding refers to the process that helps validate that the company you are joining hands with is legitimate and exists in the real world. KYB onboarding conducts background checks on a counterparty to analyze it from financial, economic, and other perspectives. Nonetheless, KYB onboarding verification is also important to comply with the AML and KYB regulations. KYB onboarding not only exhibits the real identity of the company. But also informs about financial and legal risks associated with the company owner and partners.

KYB Merchant Onboarding

KYB merchant onboarding verifies the legitimacy of the business you are associated with and its partners, merchants, vendors, clients, partners, etc. It also validates that counterparty doesn’t hold any legal or financial risks. It protects businesses against shell or void companies, builds real connections, prevents frauds, scams, penalties, and safeguards the business reputation while enhancing trust as well as reliability. 

Money launderers and fraudsters establish shell companies to defraud the real businesses. These businesses only exist in the digital realm or papers and have no goods, services, location, or infrastructure. They mainly exist to scam legitimate businesses, conduct frauds, and conduct suspicious transactions. Protecting your organization against these paper-fit companies requires fool-proof onboarding processes that verify and validate the whole existence of the counterparty. 

KYB Client Onboarding

Before onboarding the client, evaluating the risk with them is essential. Some clients might possess high risk, and collaborating with them can cost businesses a fortune.  KYB client onboarding verifies that the person your company is about to join hands with contains no risk or low risk. 

KYB onboarding checks and risk evaluations are performed when a client provides information. The client is checked against the sanctions and watchlist to ensure they are not involved in money laundering or terrorist financing. When the risk association reveals little or no risk, the client is considered safe to work with. When a client represents a high risk, the system automatically flags it as a threat, removing it from the list but saving the data. If a corporation still wants to onboard the red-flagged client. It can manually allow access to it, but the ongoing KYB checks will continue to analyze and monitor it in the future. 

KYB Onboarding Document

The first stage is to collect the necessary KYB onboarding documentation to establish the company’s legal existence. That may include:

  • Business registration number
  • Legal name
  • Address
  • Operational status
  • Key personnel
  • Incorporation date
  • Financial statements 
  • Business History

Once the documents are provided, the business profile is assessed against the sanction or watchlists, and risk is determined associated with them. The KYB onboarding process also evaluates who owns and controls the business. Once the company screening is done and documentation is screened, the business is either onboarded or denied access. After the KYB onboarding, the process continues. To mitigate risk and secure the digital environment, ongoing KYB monitoring and adherence to the updated compliance are practised. 

Manual Vs. Automated Onboarding 

Manual or traditional KYB onboarding necessitates a large amount of resources; institutions must have a dedicated team that is slowed by outdated methods. Nonetheless, corporate clients can take weeks to onboard effectively. Human error also impacts the company’s onboarding operations. Mistakes arise when dealing with massive amounts of data and information, exposing firms to danger. 

The most challenging aspect of the manual KYB onboarding process is keeping up with the constantly changing regulatory landscape, especially when multiple nations and complex jurisdictions are involved. The KYB process’s regulations are complex and continually evolving.

The KYB process in automated business onboarding will employ worldwide databases to generate new entries for corporate accounts. It also updates about UBOs, such as whether they are sanctioned, Politically Exposed Persons (PEP), have been the subject of negative media stories, and other associated background checks – all of which may be automated. This saves compliance experts time and allows them to develop a more trustworthy image of a company’s structure.

Challenges in KYB Onboarding

When it comes to Know your business onboarding, businesses confront several issues. The continually shifting regulatory landscape presents complications that firms must traverse to remain compliant. Furthermore, the large client base and different business areas necessitate unique approaches to verification. Manual processes frequently result in ineffectiveness, delays, and cost increases, while the danger of fraud as well as noncompliance remains high.

Best Practices in KYB Onboarding

To streamline KYB onboarding, businesses can implement the following best practices in 2024:

Create KYB Policies and Procedures

Company policies and processes should be documented to aid in effective financial management, minimizing risks, and internal operational alignment. These documents should also be evaluated regularly to ensure they remain updated with the firm’s external environment. 

Utilizing Technology and Automation

KYB onboarding, data analysis, and risk assessment can be considerably improved by adopting digital identity verification technologies and utilizing advanced technology as well as artificial intelligence (AI). Electronic document verification for onboarding can help to speed up document processing while reducing errors.

Implement a Risk-Based Approach

Risks linked with business connections might evolve due to the ever-changing nature of corporate ecosystems. Firms can respond to these developments by focusing on entities that offer a higher risk with a risk-based KYB approach. Risk-based KYB screening measures can better detect and prevent potential problems proactively because not all business partnerships carry the same level of risk. 

Data Validation

Establishing solid processes for data gathering and validation during KYB onboarding is critical. It’s important to ensure the accuracy and credibility of client data by checking beneficial ownership. Even after onboarding, regular audits should be performed to ensure data integrity.

Continuous Monitoring 

Implementing ongoing consumer activity monitoring and undertaking periodic risk assessments is essential. Businesses should invest in technologies that alert them to suspicious activity or changes in corporate data. 

2x Faster KYB Onboarding

Firms can use The KYB to simplify their corporate screening and onboarding approach while increasing productivity as well as conversion rates. With an automated KYB workflow, businesses can onboard the other companies 2x faster while staying compliant. Our KYB onboarding system provides real-time access to over 250 data sources and operates in over 250 countries, states, and complex multi-jurisdictional environments. Regardless of industry, an executed onboarding system should serve as your entry screening point before creating any strategic relationships with other organizations.

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