In 2020, sending money abroad can happen in a matter of a few minutes - and WorldRemit is no stranger in sending money abroad. We’ve been around for ten years and earned the trust of over 4 million customers!
By making money transfers abroad this simple, we had to develop a robust security system for all of our new and existing customers, and as our service gets smarter, so will the techniques that criminals use to try to get your data.
In this article, we shed light on the practice of “Know Your Customer” which we use to keep your data private and your hard-earned money safe.
What is Know Your Customer?
“Know Your Customer” - or KYC - is a verification process in the financial industry. If you have ever opened a bank account or applied for insurance, then you have been a subject to KYC checks.
All regulated financial companies are responsible for building their KYC checks based on global and national anti-money laundering standards. This way, companies can make sure that it’s a suitable verification process for their customers, services and industry.
If customers can’t provide any formal identification, or if it is difficult to authenticate it, companies can’t easily identify them and offer them their services.
KYC is a set of rules that help companies to:
- Verify the customer identity
- Make sure that customers meet the acceptance criteria to use a service
- Make sure that the service is not used for any criminal activity
- Providing companies with data so they can present the correct product to their clients based on their profile
Is KYC mandatory?
Yes. KYC is a necessary process for banks, financial institutions and money transfer companies of all sizes. A company failing to follow the KYC regulations can result in regulatory risks - such as losing licenses, as well as potential substantial fines!
By law, companies are obliged to know who their customers are and make sure that each one of them meets the requirements to use their financial services.
Who is responsible for KYC monitoring?
A company that knows its customers can also better protect them. There are usually entire teams dedicated to monitoring transactions and detecting suspicious activities.
Here are the teams within WorldRemit that get involved in KYC the most:
- Customer onboarding teams and Customer service
- Transaction monitoring specialists
- Compliance team
- AML specialists
- Fraud specialists
- Risk management
Why is KYC important, and what are the benefits?
If we didn’t complete KYC checks with our customers, we would approve every money transfer request that comes through to us. However, that would potentially open the door for people to use our service for illegal purposes.
KYC helps to separate legitimate transactions from any suspicious activities. Here are a few examples:
Prevent identity theft and money laundering
Identity theft is when someone uses your personal information (such as your name, date of birth or address) for their financial gain. KYC allows us to check if customers are genuine about who they claim to be.
Occasionally, money transfer companies are targeted by money launderers - hoping to trick the system and clean the money. Thanks to the digital progress and innovative methods, we are now able to detect cases of money laundering and report them.
Detecting criminal activities or buying illegal goods
From betting to the illegal movement of money to purchasing restricted products, our staff stops transactions that suggest any criminal activity or purchase illicit goods.
Protecting your feelings and savings
Love can find you on every corner and at every age. Unfortunately, there are some people out there who are trying to gain someone’s affection to commit fraud. So, we monitor transactions for signs of romance scams.
Protecting you from scams
It’s ironic - you want to contribute towards a good cause, but your money goes right to a scammer’s pocket. Luckily, we know all the latest trends and stay one step ahead of scammers.
Find out more about how to protect yourself from scams here.
How do we verify your identity at WorldRemit
We at WorldRemit are required by law to verify all of our customers. The way we check the identity of our customers is different from the way things were done in the past. An industry previously dominated by offline money transfer companies, the process shifted from manual paper-based KYC checks to an electronic process, so-called e-KYC.
What is eKYC?
As a highly regulated company, WorldRemit is authorised to verify information against national ID systems, allowing us to match our data with theirs electronically. As per the data from the World Bank, approximately 161 countries out of 175 are digitised and collect electronic data.
In practice, we receive a transaction together with the information you filled in upon creating your account. Our electronic system reviews your information automatically while determining the potential risks of releasing your transaction while ensuring that there is no suspicious behaviour.
If there are any discrepancies, or if you don't have enough data available in your country of residence (for example, if you've just moved into the country), then we request additional information from you. Usually, the information we need to complete the verification is a photo ID or a proof of address. Our smart eKYC tools help us authenticate the info you provided - deterring any false documents.
What are the benefits of eKYC?
Thanks to eKYC, we can cut the cost and time needed to identify our customers. We can build services that make the lives of our customers much easier.
We understand that in this fast-paced world, money is needed with your recipients as soon as possible, and eKYC helps us deliver on our promise of fast and convenient money transfer service while offering competitive prices. For you, it means a convenient and speedy way to send money abroad.
How do you get eKYC verified?
Good news - in the majority of cases, you won’t need to do a thing. Usually, we will only be required to check your name, address and date of birth.
The type of verification we will need can be different depending on the amount of money you are sending, and which country you are sending from. We request all necessary information (like your name, date of birth or, sometimes, an ID number) when you’re creating a transaction and the KYC process takes seconds.
Here are a few tips to help you get verified faster:
- When you’re creating a WorldRemit account, use your full name as it appears on your ID document (passport or driving licence).
- Make sure that your date of birth is correct.
- Fill in your phone number so that we can get in touch in case of any discrepancies.
- When adding your address, either locate your address using our address finder or make sure to fill in the right information in the right field.
What if you didn’t pass KYC?
Didn’t get verified electronically? No problem. In these cases, we will call you to help you to complete the verification process right away or ask for more information via email.
We aim to release all transactions as soon as possible, and so we regularly follow up with a call to make sure you got the message and to check if you need any extra help from us.
What additional information do we request?
Depending on your country of residence, and the reason why we couldn’t verify you, these are the typical documents we may request to complete our KYC checks:
- Identification document (such as driving licence, passport or national ID)
- Proof of address
- Confirm the purpose of the transaction
Find out what information we need from you depending on your sending country:
What are the common reasons for not passing the KYC checks?
- Incorrect details - name, date of birth or address
- Can’t provide proof of address
- Name mismatch (e.g. maiden name instead of a married name)
- Poor quality of documents you’ve provided (such as blurry ID photo)
- Unclear purpose of the transaction
For more information, visit our FAQ Verification page.
Is your data safe with WorldRemit?
Simple answer - yes. Protecting your data is our highest priority!
Over the past ten years, we have proudly built a reputation for being a trustworthy and secure money transfer service. Our procedures and policies keep your data confidential and safe.
We are regulated - operating as an Authorised Electronic Money Institution; we’re regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) under the Payment Service Regulations 2017 and Electronic Money Regulations 2011.
Following the introduction of GDPR legislation in 2018, we also need your consent to store and use your data. If you give us your consent, we’re also obliged to follow strict rules to keep your data secure.
Find out more about our security processes here.
And remember, at WorldRemit, we will never:
- Create transactions on your behalf
- Ask for your debit/ credit card details over the phone/text or WhatsApp
- Ask you to share your login details with us
Wondering how to make the first step?
If you want to get started sending money abroad, we’re here to make your WorldRemit registration as simple as possible. We’ve put together a quick how-to guide to the WorldRemit sign up process, so that you can send money abroad to loved ones quickly, easily and safely. Wherever you are in the world, you can sign up with WorldRemit on our website, or after downloading the WorldRemit app available on:
Here we talk you through everything you need to know to get started, whether it’s verifying your email address or adding a 4 digit PIN for extra security. With the WorldRemit app, you can even add facial recognition, so that you know your money is as safe and secure as can be!
Once you’ve finished your WorldRemit registration, you’ll be able to send money abroad to loved ones in 150 countries with just a few taps of a button. Amazing, right?
You can find all the tips you need on the WorldRemit sign up process by watching our step by step video right now or by visiting our Getting Started page.