Edmund Tribue, NA Risk & Regulatory Practice Leader
Know your customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) practices have turned indispensable for banking and financial institutions in the wake of an increase in pecuniary crimes, beneficial ownership requirements and the number of politically exposed persons (PEPs). However, financial institutions have adopted a fragmented approach to addressing KYC and AML related issues by deploying additional manpower and using platforms that are inflexible toward the new sources of data available today. Manual operations create information silos pertaining to KYC and AML, preventing KYC rechecks on customers with suspicious transactions.
With a policy-, advanced analytics- and workflow-based view of KYC and AML, NTT DATA Services sets a new benchmark with its end-to-end solutions to combat financial crimes. The company’s product-agnostic approach essentially reconfigures a client’s existing workflow by automating KYC processes to improve operational efficiency and reduce costs. “We work with almost every third-party vendor application available for KYC execution and AML monitoring,” mentions Edmund Tribue, Sr. Director and NA leader of the risk and regulatory practice at NTT DATA. The company’s state-of-the-art facilities in the U.S., APAC, and EU regions simplify the risk of outsourcing customer data offshore for KYC and AML operations.
Robotics-powered automation forms the crux of NTT DATA’s KYC and AML initiatives. The company begins by performing a proof-of-concept to demonstrate certain tangible benefits such as a significant reduction in customer onboarding time or lowering of relationship managers’ bandwidth, allowing them to focus more on building relationships rather than KYC documentation. “We have automated even the smallest of functions such as identity and verification, thereby eliminating manual operations to a large extent,” says Niraj Singhal, VP and head of international banking practice at NTT DATA. The company deploys bots to perform activities such as verifying information from the register and rerouting that to due diligence or even “Googling” for PEPs, thereby hastening the process significantly.
The starting point of NTT DATA’s services for KYC process automation is its proprietary KYC maturity model (KMM) that categorizes an institution’s maturity with respect to KYC operations into three stages. A financial organization is in the Provisional stage when KYC processes are non-standard and redundant due to low technology adoption.
Niraj Singhal, VP & Head of International Banking Practice
“The Proactive stage is when the first phase of automation is introduced to streamline operations based on workflows, besides providing well-defined processes with measurable outcomes,” adds Singhal. Finally, the Proficient stage is when an integrated workflow model is defined through automation and robotics along with business metrics that reveal business performance. Parameters such as governance model, the skill level of staff, data analytics, and automation help in assessing an institution’s maturity, based on which an optimum solution is designed to transition clients from a reactive stage to the proficient stage.
We have automated even the smallest of functions such as identity and verification, thereby eliminating manual operations to a large extent
Among the organizations leveraging NTT DATA’s services is a European bank where back books had not been remediated for three years and the deadline was around the corner. An internal analysis revealed a requirement for a 1,200-member team working in three shifts, which was unfeasible. When brought onboard, NTT DATA viewed the issue from a workflow perspective and deployed a KYC platform that brought down the time taken to onboard corporate and retail customers from seven days to six hours by leveraging automation. The cost of performing KYC was significantly reduced and customer satisfaction reached an all-time high.
Moving forward, NTT DATA is developing an app to accelerate the onboarding process and help relationship managers scan books of accounts, proxy signatories and nested hierarchies. The company is also gearing up to facilitate information sharing between financial institutions and law enforcement agencies to combat finance-related crimes. Tribue and Singhal are prepping NTT DATA for the next phase of KYC, which will enable banks to look beyond customers and include third parties in their KYC and AML practices.