In a digital economy, automating compliance processes is a must. But that doesn’t mean compromising on your customer experience or trading efficiency for risk.
Trust and efficiency in a digital economy
In a digital economy, it’s more important than ever to have the right SaaS RegTech solution available to automate your compliance processes.
And, at the moment, compliance teams can’t swivel round in their chairs to ask a question or call over the partition for the latest update. So, they need a secure, SaaS solution to deliver compliance, bring customers onboard efficiently and to manage risk while supporting great customer experiences.
After all, behind each application for one of your financial products is a person. That person needs to be reviewed and assessed to establish they can be trusted and to maintain compliance with KYC and AML regulation. But it's called financial services for a reason. Service means looking after customers and delivering great experiences. It's important to remember customers need and want financial products, and they should feel good about the ones they've chosen and the companies who provide them.
This process starts at onboarding, but it doesn’t end there. Compliance and risk management continues throughout a customer's lifecycle. Through regular KYC and AML checks that are automated and seamless, mutual trust can be established online - with no compromise between compliance and customer experience, and no trade-off between efficiency and risk.
The best automated compliance solutions are designed from the customer backwards and with them front of mind. By digitising your compliance processes, including KYC and AML checks, the weight of activity can fall on your RegTech solution, its risk engine and its workflows, instead of on your customers or your compliance team.
Automated compliance processes mean less waiting time for customers, fewer touch-points in the process, and less friction. All this equates to a better experience as customers can engage much faster with your products as they spend less time engaging with your KYC process.
It also, of course, helps establish that mutual trust. At the end of an automated compliance process, you know that all regulatory requirements have been met and the customer knows you are a business they can interact with easily.
Don't trade efficiency for risk
The other side of the compliance story is the one that plays out inside your business. Compliance professionals are relied on to protect your business from financial crime. They are a valuable resource, knowledgeable and skilled. Making this team more efficient and focusing their time where it adds value is better for your business and your customers.
But you don't have to trade efficiency for risk when you automate compliance processes. You don't have to be concerned that by digitising KYC and AML activity, you are somehow accepting a higher level of risk, because the compliance people aren't directly involved in each application.
Taking a risk-based approach to compliance means you can manage the complexity and nuance of regulations, while creating efficiency. This might mean perhaps automating 100% of customers with a low-risk profile according to your policy and handing over only the higher-risk applicants for enhanced due diligence.
Essentially, you can layer automation to speed up manual processes and when there are tasks that can’t or shouldn't be automated, you can bring your compliance team in where they add value for analysis, judgement and decision-making.
Best practice in automated due diligence
When you're carrying out due diligence on a customer, there are four areas it’s important to focus on. Using automation in these areas can create efficiencies for your KYC team and create better experiences for your customers, without compromising your standards on risk and compliance.
1) Understanding who is applying for your product
2) The status of their application(s)
3) Completion of open tasks
4) Approval or rejection of applications
Understanding who is applying for a product
Automated due diligence starts by orchestrating a series of personal data checks on a customer to establish they are who they say they are. This includes accessing information to prove things like name, address, nationality, etc.
Once these data checks are complete, relevant action can be taken on the application. But you have already started to create a sound picture of that customer's risk profile and you have their data in one place.
The current status of an application
With the results of a customer's data checks returned, if there are issues associated with that person it's important to deal with outstanding issues or begin enhanced due diligence swiftly. Automation can flag this up immediately.
If all the tasks associated with a workflow of onboard checks need to be “passed” to complete an application for example, it’s essential those responsible for progressing applications know what needs to be done ASAP. Without that you risk introducing unnecessary delays that are costly in terms of customer perception and conversion.
Completing open tasks
As mentioned, if every check needs to be “passed” to decide the outcome of an application, it’s essential the compliance team focuses on open tasks so they can be completed without delay.
Look for 3 things in a SaaS compliance solution that will help teams understand what's happening with an application and what they need to do:
1) Task status - This will show whether necessary checks, in accordance with your risk and compliance policies, have passed, failed, or are incomplete
2) List of checks - Make sure it’s possible to see a list of checks that were run (e.g., an Electronic identity check or Document verification check) and the results of each check
3) Space to communicate - Teams needs to be able to share notes and files on each case for complete transparency and to ensure effort isn’t duplicated
Approve or Reject the Application
Ultimately, you want automation to help you get to the point of deciding an application as quickly as possible. This doesn’t mean speed above all else, as compliance needs to be robust and many people in the industry will talk about “friendly friction” or “friction right” processes.
New applicants understand checks must be carried out and if the journey feels good, enabled by a smooth digital experience, they will start to build trust and loyalty from the get-go. What new customers have less tolerance for is bad digital experiences and unnecessary delay.
RegTech can be used to automate your workflow of compliance checks, aligned to company policies, for each customer - no compromise between compliance and efficiency or customer experience.
However, not all applications can or ever should go straight through a process untouched and unseen, as that does leave you open to risk. The key is to ensure that when an application is submitted and populated; when a KYC/AML process has been run; when checks are complete; and when pass or fail decisions are clear, the application is also approved or rejected in the same platform, so genuine customers are onboarded promptly and any ‘bad apples’ are weeded out.
There are lots of good reasons to automate compliance activity around customer onboarding and ongoing risk management. For customers delays in accessing their new financial product are kept to a minimum and the experience of choosing your company is frictionless.
From your side, you achieve higher conversion rates and win additional revenue as there are fewer drop offs in the process as customers don't get fed up and begin abandoning their applications.
And, for your compliance team they are able to work where they add most value and collaborate efficiently as they understand the status of each profile, what they are personally responsible for and which cases to escalate.
PassFort is a SaaS RegTech provider whose platform automates financial crime and compliance processes. Our solutions are easy to use, allow for changes on demand and never compromise between compliance and customer experience. With a risk-based approach to automating your companies’ policies, we also ensure there's no trade-off between efficiency and risk.
To discuss your businesses compliance processes and how we could make them more efficient through automation, please get in touch, we would love to hear from you.