At Fully-Verified, we offer customer identity verification services tailored to your business’s needs. We offer your business only what’s the best – solutions that replace traditional, manual methods which are costly and time-consuming. That’s why we’ve added Sanctions, Watchlist and PEP checks to our list of services. Fully Verified Sanctions, watchlists and PEP Screening
A Politically Exposed Person (PEP) is a person who has held certain positions of power or authority in their home country. They can be a high risk for potential involvement in bribery and corruption under their senior position and influence. Such persons include heads of state, senior politicians, government, judicial or military officials, important political party officials, and senior executives of state-owned corporations. PEPs also include their family members and close associates.
There are no internationally agreed lists of PEPs. Each country decides who should be listed as one, and they can change the list anytime. However, there are some common criteria that all governments tend to use when deciding if someone qualifies as a PEP:
It is important to keep in mind that PEP status does not necessarily mean that the person is engaged in criminal activity; rather, the person is considered to be at higher risk. It is therefore essential to carry out enhanced due diligence on these individuals when undertaking business with them which can include but is not limited to proper identification of the PEP and verification of source of wealth and source of funds. The enhanced due diligence may vary depending on the nature and extent of risk as determined by individual case assessments by the financial institution or company.
To help you identify where your customers fit into this category, KYC software solutions integrate sanctions lists so that you can check whether they’re on any international watchlists before completing your onboarding process.
Sanctions are lists maintained by the U.S. Treasury Department and other agencies and they include individuals and entities that have been sanctioned or prohibited from doing business in or with a country, as well as individuals designated as supporting terrorism. Financial institutions use sanctions lists to screen their customers’ transactions.
To conduct efficient politically exposed person screening, it is necessary to use a database that contains information about all potential PEPs from different countries worldwide as well as their family members and close associates. The database should be constantly updated with new information to reflect the most recent changes, such as those related to newly appointed government officials or changes in legislation regulating politically exposed persons’ definitions. This database allows you to act according to your anti-money laundering policy regarding any high-risk clients found during automated KYC checks for sanctions lists screening.
To effectively manage the risks involved in dealing with PEPs, KYC procedures must include enhanced due diligence on these individuals when undertaking business with them. This can include but is not limited to:
Screening can help identify any past or current matches that might fall within the scope of politically exposed person definition per FATF recommendations. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) is a global standard-setting body that develops and promotes measures for combating money laundering, terrorist financing, and other related threats to the integrity of the international financial system. The FATF Recommendations are the basis for KYC measures.
PEP screening is a part of the KYC process, which means it’s part of the client onboarding. The PEP status may be checked during the identity verification.
PEP list monitoring is one of the compliance measures to prevent financial crime. It is a risk-based approach to identify and mitigate money laundering and terrorist financing risks. PEP screening is a critical measure to minimize the risk of doing business with people associated with political corruption and bribery.
The purpose of PEP checks is to prevent financial crime. This is done by checking if an individual or organization has any history with sanctions or money laundering regulations in their country before accepting them as customers by:
Sanctions and PEP checks are meant to help you protect your business from money laundering, fraud, and other financial crimes. KYC is evolving continuously with new and challenging regulations. Considering the scale of its implementation, KYC automation is becoming a part of one’s business strategy. In such a scenario, outsourcing the compliance process to KYC vendors should be the least of any organization’s concerns. It is vital to understand the gravity of sanctions and PEP checks so they can be used appropriately in KYC (Know Your Customer) processes.
Verifying that individuals and entities are not listed on the PEP or sanctions lists is an integral part of the KYC process. The PEP check helps ensure that the company is not at risk of financial and reputational losses.
To integrate these checks into your KYC processes, you should consider using identity verification providers like Fully-Verified. We support all three major government-issued documents: driver’s license, passport, and ID card that are used to confirm users’ identity during a verification process. Fully-Verified is the leading identity verification solution provider. Our software uses cutting-edge technology to verify your identity in real-time, so you can be sure that your information is safe and secure. We offer a complete PEP and sanctions check against over 350 databases. We continuously monitor lists for changes and updates to guarantee our clients are always compliant.
Fully-Verified was created as answer to its founders collectively losing over $150 000 to various types of fraud in their eCommerce businesses.