Almost a quarter of firms still not using automated AML checks

21% of business decision-makers say they do not trust any of their anti-money laundering (AML) checks to be automated, despite this year’s lockdown preventing most physical checks, according to research from SmartSearch.

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Rozi Jones
6th November 2020
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"Lockdown or not, introducing automation in your business is going to create some major efficiencies and free up time to focus on other business priorities."

47% of senior business figures showed some level of distrust and 23% of businesses still have no automated processes in place when it comes to AML.

When asked which of the standard customer authentication checks they would trust to be automated, RCA (relatives and close associations) checks were found to be the least trusted, with just 14% saying they would automate these.

The accountancy industry appears best prepared for an age of automation in AML, with higher levels of trust that most. Among those working in this sector, almost a third (32%) said they fully trust the automated processes they currently have in place overall, reaching up to 56% for checks such as customer due diligence. However, 19% still admitted to having no automated checks in place in their business.

SmartSearch is urging businesses to consider better automation processes to improve efficiencies and accuracy, to better navigate an ever-challenging business landscape.

John Dobson, CEO at SmartSearch, said: “When lockdown hit first time, businesses suffered when it came to their AML checks. These need to be carried out by law, so when physical checks became impossible, it created a lot of issues for those who weren’t already automating at least some of their processes.

“In spite of this, we can see now that 23% of businesses still have no automation in place when it comes to AML checks. Lockdown or not, introducing automation in your business is going to create some major efficiencies and free up time to focus on other business priorities.

Advising businesses on what to consider when it comes to electronic verification, John added:“It’s understandable that there’s still some trepidation when it comes to e-verification and checks. You have to be able to trust that the system you’re using is totally accurate and reliable. However, if this year has taught us anything it’s that businesses simply can’t afford to ignore automation.

“There’s been so much innovation in the AML sector and we have recently launched our market-leading TripleCheck service, so I would urge those responsible for AML checks to research the options available to them. Getting your automation right could be a major help, as we all try and navigate 2020’s challenging business landscape.”

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