Onfido is urging financial institutions to stay vigilant in a rapidly shifting regulatory environment. The company noted that many governments (including the US, the UK, and the European Union) have imposed strict sanctions on Russian businesses and political actors since the country launched its invasion of Ukraine, even going so far as to revoke access to the international SWIFT financial system.
The problem, from a financial services perspective, is that it is difficult to fulfill sanctions requirements when those requirements can change on a daily basis, and there is very little leeway for those that fail. Doing business with sanctioned entities or individuals can cost a financial institution hundreds of thousands of dollars for each violation, and the total can easily climb into the billions if it happens at scale.
That’s why financial institutions need to make sure that they are not transacting with any sanctioned parties, and that’s where Onfido believes it can help. The company specifically pitched its Watchlist Check solution, which provides financial institutions with insight into their clients beyond the initial onboarding process. Watchlist Check cross-references client lists with lists of criminals, sanctioned individuals, and politically exposed persons, and sends a notification to the financial institution if there are any names that it needs to be concerned about.
As it relates to the current situation, the solution is also noteworthy because it re-screens users every single day to make sure that someone has not been added to a watchlist in the past 24 hours. In doing so, the Watchlist Ongoing Monitoring feature keeps financial institutions up to date with the latest Know Your Customer and Anti-Money Laundering requirements, and ensures that their decisions are made with accurate intelligence.
In the meantime, Onfido encourages financial institutions to maintain strong security during onboarding. The company advocates for the use of database checks, and the use of biometric identity verification technology that can match a face to a photo ID. Onfido itself has provided such services for businesses all over the world, with Wallester AS, Tesco Bank, and Lemonway standing as some of its most recent customers.
March 18, 2022 – by Eric Weiss