October 26, 2020

Automated KYC is Better KYC

AI can take workflows to new heights: Unlike some other aspects of client onboarding, which benefit from the human touch and the flexibility it affords, Know Your Customer (KYC) protocols are well suited to robotic process automation (RPA) and the scaling up possibilities that go with it. And in contrast to those workflows that are merely rendered faster or more affordable, automated KYC is also more accurate and insulated against various kinds of possible mistakes. After all, verifying that potential customers are who they say they are – and fact-checking their financial and legal histories – is painstaking, vigilant work. It is, in fact, the kind of work that often exhausts the attention of people, leading to costly errors. But with the right intelligent machine, inattention is never a problem.

Top-tier KYC solutions are most importantly about guaranteeing security in order to minimize the financial burden and legal risk that results from taking on the wrong kind of customer. But ruling out fraudsters and the financially challenged is only a part of the process. Bad applications and errors of fact can complicate business and generate costs just like bad customers do, even when they are simply the result of carelessness. Checking facts and flagging mistakes is as much a part of onboarding as turning away potential white-collar criminals – and the work this requires is just as susceptible to human error.

Boost Sales Force Morale

Fact checking. Comparison of images (including ID photos and document scans), serial numbers, names, and addresses. Manual data entry. Issuing form-based requests for legible scans, supplemental material, or additional information. All such tasks, which require focus and attention despite their repetitive and comparatively menial nature, tend to exhaust employees without challenging them or instilling in them a sense of pride or accomplishment. Moreover, they often take more time than planned, because for checking by humans to be accurate, what is typically also required is double checking – triple checking too, occasionally. RPA and robotic text processing has a definite advantage in this regard, being not just more accurate but many times faster in the first place, plus it is fully scalable and non-vulnerable to processing center closures rampant during a global pandemic. In the case of Applica, it is also sensitive to document layouts (not just raw text) and it is not keyword based. Both of these unique features translate into added speed and accuracy.

Drawn-out and imperfectly accurate KYC solutions don’t just mean more risk for an institution – they also impact sales force morale, the amount of incoming business, and customer satisfaction. As mentioned above, human resources are not put to use in optimal ways. Onboarding volumes are not maximized, because the longer a process goes on from application to approval, the more likely it becomes that customers get second thoughts – often because competitors become part of the decision process. Thus, when a KYC process drags on over the course of days or weeks, margins tend to go down and more sales work is often required to re-establish interest. And both customer satisfaction and an institution’s reputation can be significantly damaged when occasional errors lead to legitimate customers or potential customers being flagged as fraudulent.

What’s not to love? For businesses in finance, insurance, real estate, accounting, and numerous other strictly regulated industries, smart automation solves the problems of slow, error-prone, and tedious KYC. At the same time, it usually means considerable savings to the bottom line. Customers are onboarded at a pace that fits with modern lifestyles. And teams set free from the painstaking work of verification can unleash their talents on higher-value tasks that require the kind of problem-solving people do best.

For lower KYC costs, fewer error-based complications, and a more perfect KYC record connect with an Applica expert today.

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