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Has Digital Address Verification Enhanced the KYC Process?
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Has Digital Address Verification Enhanced the KYC Process?
To reduce fraud, banks and financial institutes have to meet strict KYC and AML regulations, which is particularly challenging.

In the digital era, a large number of businesses are conducting their transactions online. The physical presence of the customers is not necessary to conduct business nowadays. This has also increased the chances of fraud and money laundering. Many businesses have started considering conducting business with legitimate individuals. Banks and financial institutes have to meet strict KYC and AML regulations, which is particularly challenging.

What is meant by KYC?

KYC or Know Your Customer is a process businesses use to gather information to identify and verify clients and their personal information. It is mainly used by banks and other financial institutions to verify whether the customer actually is who he/she claims to be or not. KYC is significantly getting more important every day. Customers are required to provide proof of identity through various means, depending on the type and nature of the business. KYC is mandatory for all registered banks and financial institutions globally. If KYC guidelines are followed and implemented, fraudulent and money laundering activities are minimized to a great extent. 

A part of the Patriotic Act, KYC laws were introduced in 2001 to provide a means to stop terrorism. Since then, it has slowly paved its way into many businesses and financial institutions and has ultimately been made mandatory for all banks and financial institutions now. There are mainly five main KYC or identity verification methods: Face verification, Identity verification, Address verification, Two-factor authentication, and Content verification. Either one or more of these services are used depending on the type of business and its usability. 

Digital Address Verification Process

The online address verification process works by asking the end-user to upload a photo while holding an identification document to match the address on the ID document. The address is extracted from the document via the Optical Character Resolution technology embedded in the software. Then the residential or business address is checked and matched with a database of addresses. Finally, the address is either accepted or rejected after the verification process is completed. The software basically cross-checks the address with the database. Government-issued identity documents such as national IDs, utility bills, bank statements, and driver’s license, are verified for authenticity, to improve customer risk profiling and online identity fraud management.

The address verification is rejected mainly due to three reasons:

  1. Proof of address is older than three months

  2. The address isn’t matching the previously uploaded document

  3. Image of the proof of address isn’t complete    

  4. The address document is forged or counterfeit                                     

If any of the above-mentioned issues are resolved, one can repeat the process of address verification.

Fraud is managed in a better way through the verification process and the accuracy of the verification is also improved. It can be used in a number of industries. For example, in post offices, some of the mail sent is returned due to the wrong or modified address of the recipient. Returned mail and its associated costs can be reduced and accurate address data is also maintained through online address verification. There are many address verification service providers in the market. Identity verification has never been more important, especially since more and more businesses are considering the conflict of diminishing fraud while prioritizing growth and streamlined user experiences. 

If customers’ personal details are with a business or bank, it is mandatory for them to take care of the information and keep it confidential under all circumstances. Any sort of information sharing or leakage will have severe consequences for the company and its reputation. Although all the checks by the AI system are done in detail and precision there is still a chance of machine error in verifying the address. In such cases, the address has to be manually verified by human intelligence.

Due to the discussion stated above, we can clearly establish that address verification is very important for businesses as well as institutions. By properly verifying addresses of customers, businesses can not only impede fraudulent activities and scams, but also comply with the global financial regulations. This creates an overall safe environment for all. The most efficient and effective method for verifying customer identities is through digital identity verification.

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