We all know that getting visitors to your website these days can be challenging, but once we have them there and they decide to register or purchase something, how can we verify their identity to ensure KYC compliance? It is important these days in many industries to Know Your Customer and to show that you have made reasonable steps to know who you are selling your goods or services to.
With online sales, this process can be entirely automated so that it takes up none of your time, and allows your customers to have a smooth and fast transaction on your website. The level of verification you will need will depend on the service you are selling.
If you are a mobile bank, for example you will need to verify actual identity documents such as passports but if you are selling women’s clothing, a simple email verification may be enough. Bear in mind that your credit card or online payment processor will also conduct their own online KYC verification checks in the background each time they process a payment for you.
So how are online KYC checks done?
Use an electronic identity verification service (eIDV) provider. There are a number of these in various countries around the world and you can sign up to their services via API. Some examples of the most popular ones for international eIDV are Trulioo, GBG and GDC but there are several others.
These companies can check that the details input by the customer at your point of sale (eg your website) are correct – such as a person’s date of birth, their bank account details and a company’s registration number. Their services can even include document scanning and verification (eg passports, driving licences, company registration certificates) as well as instant PEP and Sanctions screening.
Cedar Rose can currently provide this service for individual verification (eKYC) in the MENA region, Russia and Romania via API and for company verification (eKYB) in several countries around the world.
To check that an email address is legitimate, you can send an automated email out from your site on submission of the registration form. When the customer receives the email, they click on the link you provide, or enter the password you provide and this can be set up to alert your system that the client is automatically verified.
A similar process can be used for mobile telephone numbers; you set up your website to send a code to the user’s mobile number, as inserted on your website, and they must receive and enter this code to be allowed access to your site. Using both these methods at once is known as two-factor authentication and this is useful for more secure sites.
Nowadays, there are high tech solutions too – commonly used in banking applications and for mobile phone access. These include fingerprint recognition, facial recognition, voice recognition and now even video recognition.
If you need to back-screen your current clients, verification of businesses can be done offline in batches too by companies like Cedar Rose so that you ensure all clients have been verified before putting new online verification methods in place. Registration details, company registration certificates and unique identifiers such as name, address, date of birth and national ID numbers could all be checked and verified, depending on the country.