Stop using Google for AML/KYC Due Diligence

Google is not a front-line risk mitigator, it’s a search engine. And yet according to recent research, 4 in 5 financial service organisations still use it to drive mission-critical AML and KYC processes.

Whilst Google has huge value as the ‘go-to’ online research tool, no mass market search engine is going to be suitable for high-value tasks such as KYC, AML, KYS due diligence or risk management activities. Google is designed to index the whole internet and carry out general searches. Whilst you can ask it a series of iterative targeted questions to eke out the answers you need, this can be at best inefficient and hugely time-consuming, and at worst inaccurate or incomplete – meaning the chances of fraudulent transactions going through is high.

Perhaps it’s not surprising then that the same survey also reported 47% of respondents’ time is spent processing data into a usable format.

There’s got to be a better way than ‘Googling’ your customers

54% of financial service organisations need better external data, and 34% believe automation of data analysis is an obvious opportunity for improvement.

This presents not just an opportunity for improvement, but rather a transformation that is vital to the future relevance and efficiency of the corporate FSI sector.

Client onboarding is one of the most critical functions for financial service organisations, as it directly impacts client experience, servicing, and relationships — all of which, in turn, impact profits. FSI organisations must ensure they have an accurate view of their customer risk, remain compliant with ever-changing regulations, and, at the same time, not compromise on the customer experience. Failure to perform to the best of a bank’s abilities in any of these areas can lead to reputational damage, sanctions, and hefty penalties.

Why then, you ask, would any organisation place their trust in Google for such high-value and highly complex activities?

Why struggle when you can automate?

This survey highlighted the nature of the struggle for FSI professionals when grappling with data. So let’s take a minute to look at each of these challenges in turn, as well as how automation provides the solution:

  • False Positives – monitoring via Google may lead a researcher to wrongly categorise unsuspicious transactions as suspicious. For a typical financial institution monitoring KYC, 75%-85% of the alerts are false positives. By leveraging an advanced AI-powered rules-engine the risk of false positives is immediately reduced, whilst at the same time generating a deeper and more accurate view based on each institutions’ criteria and risk appetite.
  • Need for supplementary data sources – Firmographic information alone isn’t enough to create the highly relevant insights needed for accurate KYC, CDD and AML. By harnessing the ability to ingest millions of structured and unstructured data points, financial institutions can quickly receive the impactful insights and risk intelligence needed for next-generation prospecting, customer monitoring and engagement, advanced onboarding, and ongoing assessment of portfolio risks and opportunities.
  • Duplication – Limited collaboration between front, middle and back-office teams creates duplication of effort and information siloes. This in turn leads to customer frustration. 12% of companies said they changed banks as a result of KYC issues, a Thomson Reuters survey found. Advanced technologies such as Artesian Connect™ capture collective expertise to create a powerful computer program that can transform efficiency, efficacy and consistency of frontline and middle office teams.
  • Unclear data provenance/lack of data source – Lack of trusted and high-quality data is driven by inefficient data capture methods such as using Google.
  • Volume/monitoring unstructured data – The amount of data generated daily is mind-boggling, and as much as 90 percent of that data is defined as unstructured.  The challenge with harnessing and monitoring it is becoming harder every day; in fact, data that is defined as unstructured is growing at 55-65 percent each year. Analytics tools powered by artificial intelligence (AI) such as Artesian were designed specifically to access, analyse and triage the insights available from unstructured data such as adverse media stories, social posts etc.

Replace Google with Artesian

Artesian ConnectTM combines leading advances in data science with a revolutionary way to harness a bank’s collective expertise (the knowledge and expertise of its people) to create a powerful computer program that can deliver efficiency, efficacy and consistency at scale.

Artesian ConnectTM combines everything a bank or financial service provider knows about its customers, business and market, and leverages an advanced rules-engine that ingests millions of structured and unstructured data points to layer on top of that know-how, quickly delivering impactful insights and risk intelligence needed for next-generation smarter decision-making and frictionless onboarding.

Metro Bank, an early adopter of Artesian ConnectTM has reported that using the platform they have been able to automate many aspects of their operational process for on-boarding new customers or screening the back-book in a fraction of the time – at scale.   Speaking about the experience of Ronan Heeran, Financial Crime Risk & Control Manager at Metro Bank commented: “We started working with Artesian to explore ways we could introduce greater efficiency to the customer onboarding journey. We loved the idea of being able to aggregate data from a number of different sources and map our risk appetite to Artesian’s rules framework to flag issues immediately. The result meant we could deliver a process which in some cases was 94% quicker than our existing process.”

Likewise in the Insurance sector early adopter QBE, has reported that they’ve been able to automate many aspects of the commercial underwriting process which touch external unstructured data, including new COVID-specific risk data sets, which Artesian ConnectTM could easily ingest. As well as the benefit of a simplified and consolidated underwriting process across all 200 of its underwriters.  David Jones, Director of Underwriting at QBE commented: “the flexibility and configurability of Artesian’s platform enables QBE to be proactive, rather than reactive, to changes in data for client assessment.”

Put Artesian to the test

We love a challenge. Put Artesian Connect™ to the test and find out how we can put the Know-How Equation to work to solve your KYC and AML challenges.

Using what we call the 3D’s of the Know-How Equation – Discover. Design. Demonstrate – we’ll work closely with you to identify and understand your onboarding process, the bottlenecks and the issues you need to solve. We’ll take your expertise and programme that into our Insight Engine, so you’ll have a platform that’s as unique as your business, and you’ll never turn to Google again!

Get in touch with one of our experts today