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API tools for fighting financial crime

APIs with the power to streamline and simplify Know Your Customer (KYC) and customer due diligence processes are now important tools for fighting financial crime. How is Refinitiv embracing cloud-based API technology, including for once-off customer screening?

  1. The latest API tools for fighting financial crime allow compliance teams to avoid repetitive tasks, focusing instead on the higher value-add aspects of performing robust KYC.
  2. The benefits of using APIs in KYC and customer due diligence processes include speed, efficiency and their seamless integration into existing workflows.
  3. World-Check One API Zero Footprint Screening is our recently launched, cloud-based API specifically designed for once-off customer screening.

The global fight against financial crime is high on our agenda and Refinitiv remains committed to raising awareness about the pervasive nature and devastating effects of this type of crime.

Our global survey in March 2018 analyzed responses from over 2,300 senior managers and c-suite professionals across 19 countries.

It revealed that respondents had spent an average of 3.1 percent of annual turnover trying to prevent financial crime during the preceding year. Despite this, nearly half (47 percent) had fallen victim to at least one form of this crime over the same period.

Robust due diligence and screening remains the best defense when fighting financial crime, but survey data also pointed to significant gaps in formal compliance.

For example, 41 percent of respondents had never screened their third-party vendors, suppliers or partners; and just 36 percent are screened on an ongoing basis.

These gaps must be addressed, but vast third-party networks mean that often overstretched compliance departments need easier, more efficient ways to transform their screening and remediation.

Enter API technology, which offers a fresh approach and allows cutting-edge solutions to integrate seamlessly with in-house compliance workflow systems to help professionals work smarter.

API tools for fighting financial crime

The benefits of using APIs

Whilst there is no substitute for human ability, the right technology can free compliance professionals from performing tasks that are often low value, repetitive or overly time-consuming, allowing them to concentrate on the higher value-add aspects of performing robust KYC.

API technology can deliver a host of benefits in some key areas, because APIs:

  • Are cost-effective.
  • Speed up processes, therefore improving time to revenue and ultimately offering a better customer experience.
  • Improve efficiency. APIs offer seamless integration into existing workflows, plus they are flexible and scalable.

Given these significant benefits, it is no wonder that APIs continue to gain in popularity. Cloud perceptions are also impacting attitudes to artificial intelligence (AI) in general and to cloud-based APIs in particular.

Our latest ‘Public Cloud Survey Report’ highlights that the benefits of the public cloud — agility, elasticity, speed and on-demand availability, for example — are beginning to outweigh the security concerns of the past.

It concludes that companies are specifically looking to the public cloud as ‘a means to deploy latest AI technologies’.

Tools for fighting financial crime

Following the 2017 launch of our World-Check One API, which offers next generation screening capabilities and streamlines KYC processes through the use of API technology, we were excited to announce that Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation adopted the API in 2018.

The API was selected by the banking giant to help strengthen its due diligence procedures.

API tools for fighting financial crime

October 2018 also saw the launch of our World-Check One API Zero Footprint Screening, an additional delivery method for our World-Check Risk Intelligence data.

Available through a dedicated URL, this innovative, cloud-based API is a lightweight-but-effective tool specifically designed for once-off customer screening. It is for single payments or transactions, with no tracking or ongoing screening and with no permanent record of the search.

How to work smarter in 2019

Looking into 2019, we expect demand for APIs to continue to grow, and Refinitiv will continue to embrace this technology and work to ensure that our clients benefit from our commitment to ongoing innovation.

The many benefits delivered by API technology will ensure continued popularity.

An expected acceleration in public cloud take-up should also further boost the ability of compliance teams as they move away from outdated processes and look to work smarter in 2019.

World-Check One API Zero Footprint Screening