Sameer Kumandan of SearchWorks

As more processes move online cybercrime is on the rise, with online banking processes, and particularly the onboarding of new customers, becoming a common target for criminals looking for weaknesses in the system.

Sameer Kumandan, Managing Director of SearchWorks, says that the rise in financial crime and identity theft means that robust Know Your Customer (KYC) processes are more important now than ever to protect financial institutions against fraud, corruption, money laundering and terrorist financing. “The challenge is that it can be an extremely time-consuming task, especially if done manually, and it is open to human error, meaning customer satisfaction is often compromised.”

In addition, since the commencement of the Protection of Personal Information (POPI) Act, which sets out the conditions regarding the accessing and processing of personal information, it has become more difficult for organisations to access certain types of data.

SearchWorks has the answer

SearchWorks, an online data aggregation platform that allows users to conduct live, accurate individual, company and property searches and in-depth KYC checks online, helps organisations to overcome these challenges, making the process of identity verification less laborious, faster, and more efficient. The platform does this by offering the user 160 different search types, covering more than 20 data sources, which gives companies in the process of onboarding new clients instant access to verified identities, updated contact details and account verifications, all within the confines of the law.

The platform allows the user to access all six credit bureaus in South Africa in one place, and confirm the identity of an individual, their address, financial status and more. SearchWorks then combines the findings, giving a view of an individual or company from various sources, in a single report. “As an accredited reseller credit bureau, we work strictly within the guidelines set by the National Credit Regulator (NCR) to ensure that consumer information and the right to privacy is adhered to by all service providers,” says Kumandan.

The solution in practice

Financial institutions in South Africa are currently partnering with SearchWorks to streamline their own KYC and onboarding processes. “Ordinarily, when vetting new clients or suppliers, a company would need to go to various organisations individually and ask for consent each time a new business contact was added, but with SearchWorks, this can all be done on one platform,” explains Kumandan.

As one of the sectors most affected by the pandemic, banking has had to quickly adapt to the changing needs and demands of customers and shift to digital solutions. Kumandan is excited that banks are starting to see the benefits of SearchWorks’ web-based solution to assist with their digital transformations. “Banks are looking to modernise their systems and build on their customer relationships by offering solutions that tap into a larger part of the customer journey. And SearchWorks is proud to be part of that.”


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