Technology, trusted data and human intelligence will be at the heart of efforts to fight financial crime in 2020. Find out more about our new digital identity solution Qual-ID, as well as the three key themes all organizations must consider this year.
- Financial crime remains widespread, with significant gaps in formal compliance and inadequate due diligence contributing to the global problem.
- Qual-ID, which was launched by Refinitiv in 2019, means organizations can establish true identity before engaging in any business relationship.
- Fighting financial crime in 2020 will revolve around the three key themes of digitization, trusted data, and an increased focus on sustainability.
In March 2019, Refinitiv conducted a survey of more than 3,000 managers with compliance-related responsibilities at large global organizations. Our aim was to assess the role of innovation in the fight against financial crime.
One of our key findings was that 72 percent of the organizations that participated had been aware of financial crime in their global operations over the preceding 12 months.
This is despite the fact that these companies spent an average of four percent of turnover on customer and third-party due diligence.
Watch: Combined digital identity verification and risk screening with Refinitiv Qual-ID
Even given this expenditure, significant gaps in formal compliance were evident, with respondents reporting that over half (51 percent) of external relationships had not undergone an initial formal due diligence check at the onboarding stage.
This inadequate due diligence has contributed to the creation of a fertile environment for financial crime to flourish.
Technology and financial crime
While technology is stepping up to the plate with ever-more advanced solutions to streamline and expedite due diligence and related compliance processes, nearly three-quarters (73 percent) of those surveyed are struggling to harness the technology available.
Juxtaposed against this challenging backdrop, an overwhelming 97 percent of the organizations surveyed were of the opinion that technology can significantly help with financial crime prevention.
Interestingly, 94 percent also agreed that the technology they use to detect financial crime is enhancing customer engagement.
This is an important finding. When it comes to customer identification and verification, manual processes are often slow and tedious, in turn contributing to high customer abandonment rates — over half (56 percent) of consumers in the UK abandoned bank applications in 2018.
Establishing true identity with Qual-ID
KYC and due diligence processes that are time-consuming, inefficient and costly should urgently be replaced by newer-generation solutions that recognize the very real need to ensure a positive customer experience.
In recognition of this, an important focus area for Refinitiv in 2019 was the development of our digital identity solution, Qual-ID.
Establishing true identity before engaging in any business relationship is a crucial first step in successful KYC and AML compliance, and achieving this by embracing digital solutions to identify and verify customers more quickly and more accurately is rapidly becoming a key differentiator for forward-thinking firms.
Developed to provide a unique, multi-step digital identity solution that allows compliance teams to swiftly and seamlessly verify identity, proof legal documents, and screen for risk in one transaction, via one API, Qual-ID leverages our market-leading World-Check Risk Intelligence to uncover any potential financial crime-related risk.
Trusted data and human expertise
Qual-ID is just one part of our suite of innovative solutions, all of which have been designed to reduce the ever-growing burden on compliance teams by helping them to pinpoint potential risk while simultaneously improving the customer experience.
Backed by leading-edge technology, trusted data and irreplaceable human expertise, our solutions deliver immediate benefits, and help to protect our clients against financial crime.
Our market-leading World-Check Risk Intelligence database simplifies and accelerates risk screening and enables clients to meet their regulatory obligations with greater ease and efficiency.
Where such screening identifies potentially higher risk, our enhanced due diligence reports deliver detailed background and integrity checks on any entity or individual, anywhere in the world.
— Refinitiv #WEF20 (@Refinitiv) December 20, 2019
Fighting financial crime in 2020
As we look towards the coming year, three key themes we expect to see continuing include:
- Digitization will be a priority
One of the reasons that so many companies struggle to harness technology is a persistent lack of digitization — those surveyed indicated that only 54 percent of the data and legal documentation actually obtained to carry out due diligence is in a digitized format.
It is unsurprising then that 60 percent of respondents across the globe say they are prioritizing automation and digitization for investment.
- The need for trusted data will continue
The need for trusted and holistic data will remain front and center.
Clean, complete and reliable data is the foundation of effective technological innovation and progress. One pertinent example is in the area of machine learning, which involves running complex algorithms that require significant volumes of reliable data.
Poor data quality had been identified as a key obstacle to progress in this critical area.
- Sustainability will remain a key focus
We have already witnessed a systemic shift towards sustainable investment, with many governments and regulatory bodies developing policies focused on this important area.
The theme of Davos 2020 is ‘Stakeholders for a Cohesive and Sustainable World’, and Refinitiv will host a financial crime event that delves into how green crime (crime against the environment) supports and furthers broader financial crime activities.
We believe that the financial sector has an invaluable role to play in the sustainable development arena and that trusted and complete data, including environmental, social and governance (ESG) data, remains the bedrock of better decision-making in support of sustainable goals.
How will you #FightFinancialCrime in 2020?
Our 2019 research findings highlighted the continued widespread impact of financial crime and the urgent need for organizations to fight back.
As 2020 unfolds, Refinitiv will continue to deliver our powerful combination of technology, trusted data and invaluable human intelligence as part of our ongoing commitment to #FightFinancialCrime.