Thomson Reuters + South African banks
Intended to stamp out money laundering and other financial misdeeds, Know Your Customer (KYC) policies and procedures have multiplied around the world.
Banks as design partners
In 2016, Thomson Reuters forged a partnership with three of our customer banks in South Africa to streamline the KYC process. We worked together to build and maintain KYC records to the exacting standards of local and global regulators.
With Barclays Africa, Rand Merchant Bank (a division of FirstRand Bank), and Standard Bank of South Africa, we developed a solution in South Africa (and extensible across the continent) that enables financial institutions and their clients to get down to business far more quickly. It also significantly reduces the cost burden of complying with KYC requirements in these markets.
The partnership defined a standard set of requirements, supported by a standard process, to enable banks and their customers to execute their responsibilities in a more efficient, compliant and cost-effective way.
We started with Thomson Reuters KYC as a Service, the global solution that serves 15 major financial institutions and asset management firms around the world, with over 125,000 complete KYC profiles since its launch in 2014.
Over nearly 18 months of engagement, the partnership group developed a version of KYC as a Service specific to the needs of Africa, with substantial input from the banks, each of whom contributed thousands of hours of subject-matter-expert time to ensure we hit the mark on both compliance and operations.
As part of our commitment to the service in Africa, Thomson Reuters also built out operational hubs in Johannesburg and Cape Town, augmenting existing centers in Poland, Malaysia and the UK, and colocating with our existing World-Check® operational center in Cape Town.
Thomson Reuters will now perform all of the KYC due diligence for corporate and institutional banking clients for these three banks (about 30,000 customers). We are on track to quickly extend the service to other domestic and international banks operating in South Africa, then expand to other segments and countries in Africa.
A winning proposition
Thomson Reuters KYC as a Service has earned recognition from the financial services industry, including 2015 FTF News Technology Innovation Awards in the categories of “Best Operational Risk Management Solution” and “Best AML/Anti-Fraud Solution.” Also, KYC as a Service received the 2015 Data Management Review Award for “Best KYC & Client On-Boarding Solution” – the second straight year the platform has earned this accolade from senior managers at financial institutions and readers of Data Management Review.