Kyckr are the Blockchain Winners at BankTech Asia

by Kyckr 10. November 2016 20:00

Kyckr are announced the overall Fin5ive Challenge winners at the Bank Tech Asia regional series event in Kuala Lumpur. TheFin5ive Challenge was launched with the intention to source five groundbreaking FinTech solutions to showcase at the two day conference.  This notable recognition and achievement brings with it the exciting opportunity to perform a 10-minute lightening demo in front of 200+ participants at the event itself. In addition to the live demo, Kyckr will be showcased in a winners start up pavilion during both days of the event.

 

Bank Tech Asia is Asia’s leading Banking technology conference. It prides itself on bringing the latest on what’s hot and what’s not from the industry. The event promises to be the ultimate stage for top players of the banking industry to take banking technology and fintech to a whole new level.

 

 

About Kyckr

Kyckr provides commercially proven KYB (KYC for businesses) solutions. KYB decisions supported by our services include on-boarding new customers and the cleansing & remediation of existing customer books. Clients are banks and other sectors that require protection against money laundering, terrorism financing and tax fraud. We have no databases nor do we store data. We access the register for every KYB decision, live. We have developed award-winning, industry leading technology solutions integrating both STP (straight through processing) and blockchain technologies.

 

 

Kyckr’s Unrivalled use of Blockchain is tackling Global Corporate Identity Issues

Kyckr’s Corporate Identity Blockchain ensures that you always have the correct legal attributes for a company in your customer book. Kyckr has created a blockchain, through deployment of smart contracts representing corporate identity, on various blockchain services, in order to enhance services such as onboarding, monitor and traditional company search.

 

Key Benefits/Advantages

·         Ensure full registered details for a company are always available and correct as they are in the official business register

·         Ensure that any change in the legal record for a company is captured and recorded within 24 hours of it occurring

·         Ensure that a company's legal details are always used consistently across all entities, branches and departments in your organization

 

Kyckr’s technological advancements and visionary leaders provide the means for its customers to be more efficient as it allows them to make decisions in real-time, significantly reducing the time it takes to on-board a new customer making its users much more compliant, agile, responsive and ultimately commercially competitive.

 

Contact Kyckr: info@kyckr.com

Kyckr Website: www.kyckr.com

 

Bank Tech Asia Event Details here:http://bit.ly/2eqIYac .

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Blog

Online Privacy

by Kyckr 28. October 2016 14:00

Online privacy used to be a grey area. Do we have complete privacy or are our actions on the internet and our personal data constantly being recorded? We are yet to receive a definitive answer but the general consensus is that online privacy is slowly fading away. Social media sites are selling our personal data for money, our search history is given to the highest bidder and our computers can be hacked with simple software.

 

Every second you are on the internet you are giving up information on yourself. This information is like a piece in a jigsaw. Every search, purchase or video watched is a different piece of the jigsaw which is contributing to building the full picture. When the full picture is revealed it shows who you are as a person and what interests you have. This is then used on sites such as Facebook and Google so they can tailor advertisements for you. If these companies can’t generate revenue then they will cease to exist. Google made $67 billion from advertisements in 2015, a number that has been on the rise every year.

It is the modern money making scheme. It is what has turned Google and Facebook into the multi-billion dollar industries that they are today and they show no intention of scrapping this means of making money. However, do you really want your personal information and interests made available for everyone to see or do you want to maintain your privacy? This isn’t an easy question to answer as privacy doesn’t have a generic limit. Some people are ok with having their information made public while others would be more cautious. A phrase that summarizes some of these attitudes is, ”It depends” said report author Lee Rainie, director of Internet, Science, and Technology research at Pew Research Centre. “Most are likely to consider options on a case-by-case basis, rather than apply hard-and-fast privacy rules.” Privacy differs from person to person so this makes it a difficult area to govern.

Another factor that must be taken into account is do users actually care about their privacy. It’s a no-brainer that when you post your holiday pictures or photos of your child on to Facebook you are sharing private information. This is something which users are constantly being educated about and are warned not to give away too much information about themselves. Yet despite these warnings the world has continued to immerse itself in social media and individuals continue to share their most intimate moments with the world. In July 2016 roughly 243,055 new photos were uploaded to Facebook every minute. Facebook is not solely to blame for this modern ideology as other social media sites such as Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat as well as a host of other sites allow users to show the world what they’re are getting up to at that exact moment. 

Chief Executive Officer of the encryption software ‘Hide my Ass’ Danvers Baillieu defined this thought process perfectly “Even with the NSA revelations and a seemingly endless onslaught of celebrity hacks and public data breaches, Americans still turn a blind eye to their vulnerability online. While many people say they want to protect themselves online, it is difficult for them to sacrifice things like their level of social presence. For too many, the gratification of a ‘like’ severely outweighs the investment in building a digitally secure life”.

Even information that you think you are sharing privately via WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Snapchat is stored on servers and can easily be accessed, sometimes even after you have chosen to ‘delete it’. Again this data is sold or accessed by whoever wishes to see it which continues to prove the point that our privacy is never truly intact on the internet. There are ways to keep your social media actions away from prying eyes. Encryption is a solid solution to stop unwanted visitors from snooping in on your conversations. There are many tools that allow you to encrypt your favourite messaging apps such as Facebook messenger. Pigdin is one such tool however the problem with this is that the majority of the online community is not computer savvy enough to install the required software and most are probably unwilling to learn how to do so. For this software to work it requires all parties involved in the conversation to have the software installed. It is pretty unlikely that the entire online community are going to protect themselves in this way and even if they were the social media giants of the world would undoubtedly upgrade their technology to make such encryption tools obsolete.

 In 1995 the EU implemented the Data Protection Directive which regulates the processing of personal data within the European Union and is considered an important component of EU privacy and human rights law. It was seen as an important milestone in the internet’s formative years as it allowed the public’s privacy to remain uncompromised online. However since then the internet has changed remarkably and is almost unrecognizable in its current format compared to 20 years ago. The data protection directive has failed to keep up with the pace of the Internets growth and is severely outdated. Most countries have outdated data and privacy protection laws including the USA due to their inability to keep up with an ever changing online environment.

 As a result the EU has implemented new regulations that are suitable for the current online climate. The General Data Protection Regulation will become law in 2018 across all 28 EU member states and will replace the inconsistent laws that each EU member state implemented to comply with the 1995 directive. The new legislation has calmed the nerves of those who are worried about privacy but many remain cautious with social media sites. It will not prohibit the internet tycoons from selling your data and the new regulation holds little power over what these sites can actually do with personal data.

 

Therefore it appears you have two options. Option one is to simply disconnect yourself from the internet and live your life without the need of finding out about your friends and family’s latest activities. However in a world where the internet is at the centre of everything that we do, this may seem a bit extreme. Option two is probably your better choice. Be careful about what you post on social media, and accept that your online activity could potentially be monitored. Unfortunately it is the price we have to pay for having access to one of the world’s greatest inventions. Until serious changes are made our private information being sold to advertisers is just going to become an accepted norm in society.

Tags: , , , ,

Blog

High Profile Hackings

by Kyckr 22. October 2016 10:00

Despite the leaders of the Western world realising that cyber terrorism is a serious threat and their attempts to crackdown on cyber attacks, hackings are becoming more common and devastating. Criminals continue to up their game knowing that if they are successful in their endeavour the rewards could be in the millions. Over the past 5 years we have seen some of the world most powerful companies brought to their knees following waves of cyber attacks. It is a trend that is showing no signs of slowing down and will more than likely go from strength to strength in the coming years. We decided to look at some of the world’s most infamous hacking scandals that send shockwaves around the globe.

 

May 2014- eBay

 eBay was subject to 2014’s biggest cyber breach as hackers were able to gain access to the personal records of the 233 million people that were registered on the site. The hack was planned to perfection and took two months to accomplish. The breach wasn’t even discovered until a couple of weeks after it took place when it was revealed that usernames, passwords, phone numbers and physical addresses were all compromised. They were also able to gain access to sensitive data that could significantly damage eBay. However the online behemoth reassured users that no financial credentials were compromised and encouraged their users to simply change their passwords to avoid any exposure. It is believed that hacktivist group SEA (Syrian Electronic Army) were behind the attack.

February 2011- HBGary Federal  

One of the more low profile victims on this list but HBGary Federal’s hack led to some incredibly sensitive documents being released. The then CEO Adam Barr began an investigation into the hacktivist group Anonymous, hoping he could reveal the identities of some of the group’s members. Barr underestimated the power of Anonymous and when they discovered they were on the verge of being discovered they retaliated. On the Super Bowl weekend of 2011 the group raided HBGary Federal’s e-mail servers which contained tens of thousands of documents. Those e-mails – many involving sensitive business dealings with the firm’s Beltway clients – including Bank of America and Berico, were posted online, spurring further controversy. The company’s website was also attacked and defaced with the message from Anonymous “How’s this for attention”.

July 2011- News of the World

While no personal information was released or money stolen in this hacking it is no less shocking. In July 2011 it was revealed that a number of the newspapers employees had been hacking phones and other devices in pursuit of stories. While some investigations carried out between 2005 and 2007 concluded that those hacked were limited to celebrities and politicians it was revealed in 2011 that they hacked more than just high profile figures. The investigation uncovered that the phones of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler, relatives of deceased British soldiers and victims of the 7 July 2005 London bombings had also been hacked. The public backlash against the paper and its owner Rupert Murdoch forced the paper to cease publication after 168 years of reporting.

 

2011 to 2015 – Sony 

Sony has received an absolute battering in recent years when it comes to their cyber security. Sony’s decision to sue teenager George Hotz when he successfully managed to ‘jailbreak’ their Playstation gaming console angered some of the internet’s most infamous hacktavists. Anonymous, along with a number of other groups, hacked Sony’s online gaming platform PSN and gained access to the financial details and personal information of one million accounts registered on the network. This opened the floodgates and between 2011 and 2015 Sony have experienced 21 major incidents which led to leaks of movie scripts, employee’s salaries and upcoming projects. The most famous of these hacks came in the wake of Sony’s digital release of the controversial film ‘The Interview’. The film, which is based on assassinating Kim Jong Un, angered the North Korean delegation and, according to President Obama, he hired the GOP (Guardians of Peace) to hack the entertainment corporation. It is believed that they were able to steal 100 terabytes of data. They also wiped company hard drives and leaked sensitive information on to the internet for all to see.

July 2015- Ashley Madison

The attack on Ashley Madison is one of the biggest leaks of personal data ever. The website, whose motto is “life’s short, have an affair”, saw the accounts of 30 million users hacked and leaked on to the internet for all to see. The hackers who go by the name of Impact Team took issue with the websites encouragement to have an affair and issued a warning to the adult dating site to shut itself down or else there would be consequences. Naturally they declined and Impact team fulfilled what they promised to do. The names, addresses, personal details and bank details of 30 million accounts were posted on to the internet in order to shame those who had been unfaithful in their marriage. The case remains open and Ashley Madison has promised a reward of $500,000 for any information which will reveal the identities of those responsible.

2006 to Present Day – Wikileaks

A combination of whistleblowers and hackers has seen Wikileaks become the most famous leakers of information in modern history. In the late 2000’s they leaked thousands of classified documents which included footage from the 12 July 2007 Baghdad airstrike in which Iraqi journalists were among those killed by an AH-64 Apache helicopter. Further documents which were obtained by journalists and hackers revealed the atrocities which took place in the Iraq War and Afghanistan war along with the inhumanity of Guantanamo Bay.  Since then they have continued to send ripples throughout the political world after revealing that the NSA had been spying on the French Government and that Hilary Clinton was using an insecure server to send classified e-mails. While Wikileaks creator Julian Assange may still be seeking refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, the site has just gone from strength to strength in his absence and is certain to be at the centre of more shocking revelations.

Let us know if you think of any other major cyber security breaches in the past five years that we may have forgotten about.

Visit our website here 

Also follow us on our various social media accounts

Facebook

Twitter

LinkedIN

 

Google+

Tags:

Cybersecurity

by Kyckr 14. October 2016 14:30

Take a second to think about how much private information you have on your phone, computer and other electronic devices. Now think about how protected those devices are from cyber terrorists. The grim reality is that the vast majority of the online community do not have the necessary software to protect themselves from a cyber attack and that is a problem. It would be ignorant to think this is something that can just be dismissed; it is a crisis that is affecting everyone, from just normal people to multibillion dollar companies.  

According to a study in 2013 by the Centre for Strategic and International Studies cyber crime costs the world economy a staggering $400 billion per year. The report goes on to explain how vulnerable we all are to a major cyber attack so you would think that changes would have been made since then to prevent such an attack. However three years later and cyber terrorism has gone from strength to strength. Major companies such as Vodafone, Samsung, Twitter and even the FBI have all had devastating cyber attacks in the past year. Hackers were able to gain access to millions of addresses, bank accounts, health details as well as a tonne of other private information.

Despite these warning signs the majority of corporations still haven’t taken action to protect themselves from hackers. The Global Risks 2015 report, published by the World Economic Forum (WEF), stated that: “90 percent of companies worldwide recognize they are insufficiently prepared to protect themselves against [cyber attacks].” If hackers are able to infiltrate ninety  percent of the worlds companies there’s no telling what sort of damage they could do. It’s not like it’s tough to hack an electronic device, anyone can do it.

Last year seven-year-old Betsy Davies was able to hack into a willing participant’s laptop as part of an experiment via the Wi-Fi at a cafe. Betsy used hacking instructions she acquired through a quick Google search and it took the primary school student just 10 minutes and 54 seconds to learn how to set up a rogue access point before she was able to see all the traffic that was coming in and out of that network. She then proceeded to zone in on one of the participants and was able to access all the files that were available on his laptop. If a seven year old with a laptop can easily access private information it is scary to think what a cyber terrorist can do.

Thankfully President Obama has taken steps to making the American internet more secure by allocating $19 billion to cyber security in his 2017 fiscal year budget. This money will be spent on helping Americans to move beyond passwords to more secure ways of accessing personal information e.g. fingerprinting. Over $3 billion will also be allocated to upgrading the American government’s entire IT department to much more secure and sophisticated technology. This is a change that is long overdue considering that floppy disk codes currently coordinate intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), nuclear bombers and tanker support aircraft.

The USA isn’t the only major nation to up its cyber security in recent years. The EU, Russia and China have all began to allocate billions to ensuring that they have the most secure and complex networks available in an attempt to deter hackers. Although it appears that this may be a losing battle. As the leading governments technology becomes more advanced so too does the hackers. Hackers are becoming more and more aggressive with the Pentagon and The National Nuclear Security Administration reporting that they each receive ten million cyber attacks every day and those are just the ones that they know about. There is no telling how many attacks that go undetected and what information they may have been able to steal. To add to the problem the ten million attacks that they know about are mostly untraceable.

Cyber security is one of the most urgent issues of the day. Computer networks have always been the target of criminals, and it is likely that the danger of cyber security breaches will only increase in the future as these networks expand, but there are sensible precautions that organizations can take to minimize losses from those who seek to do harm. US companies are required to consider disclosure about the potential costs associated with preventing cyber attacks and any contingent liabilities or asserted claims related to prior breaches. In summary, a failure to make adequate disclosures can lead to additional liability in the event of a cyber attack. This gives private companies further incentive to protect themselves from a cyber attack and will hopefully make life incredibly more difficult for hackers. The EU has also begun to take similar steps.

 

With the right level of preparation and specialist external assistance, it is possible to control and limit damages, and recover from a cyber breach and its consequences. This isn’t just one nation,s problem, it’s a global problem.

Tags: , , ,

Blog

Why Data Provenance Really Matters

by Kyckr 19. September 2016 17:00

Why Data Provenance Really Matters.

This is part 4 of 4 in a blog series that analyses different aspects of Know Your Customer and Anti Money Laundering. Here we will look at the dangers of using data sourced from different data providers and what that might mean for your business. Using data that is out-of-date, wrong or comes from dubious sources may have serious implications for your business and can lead to hefty fines as well as damaging your businesses reputation and credibility.

When you order a meal in a restaurant you expect it to be delivered quickly, fresh from the kitchen. However what if the food you received had been made a week previously and had become stale? If you ate it you would most likely become severely sick and probably have to seek medical help, all of which seems to be getting more expensive with each passing day. This same problem exists in the realm of data used to fulfil regulatory compliance issues around AML governance for KYC purposes

When you order data from a data provider, that you use for KYC purposes, you have no idea how long it has been there. Just like our kitchen example, you assume it is fresh but it may not be. There is no time and date stamp on it to say when it was last refreshed. This means that by the time you receive your data there is a very significant risk that it has gone stale with the company you are investigating possibly having changed their registration data in the meantime. Not only have you just paid for a bad product but the financial and reputational risk caused by relying on old data may be significantly more than what you expected.

Financial institutions face strict risk and regulatory controls and are required to demonstrate transparent KYC and AML processes for good reason. The rules are there to enhance trust in the commercial and legislative framework that business operates under. Organizations in all industries must comply with laws, regulations and policies designed to protect individuals and businesses financial well-being and anything that puts that at risk is a huge concern.

According to the Joint Money Laundering Steering Group there is a number of ways to protect yourself from being implicated with certain companies so you can ensure are abiding by AML and KYC regulations. However the best course of action a business can take is to thoroughly research the company who they are doing business with. A risk-based approach starts with the identification and assessment of the risk that has to be managed. Risks are posed not only in relation to the extent to which the firm has, or has not, been able to carry out the appropriate level of CDD by who the customer is but also in relation to the activities undertaken by the customer. However sometimes requesting more and more identification is not always the right answer – it is sometimes better to reach a full and documented understanding of what the customer does, and the transactions it is likely to undertake. Some business lines carry an inherently higher risk of being used for illegal purposes than others.

If the company isn’t sure of the identity of a customer, verify that identity, or have information on the purpose of the business relationship, it must not enter into a new relationship and must terminate an existing one. You may also have to adjust the risk assessment of a particular customer based on information received from the authorities.

Failure to do so can come with hefty fines as a 2011 independent study conducted by Ponemon Institute LLC found that the average cost for organizations that experience non-compliance related problems is nearly $9.4 million. Therefore investing in the proper data will help you to avoid problems such as business disruption, reduced productivity, fees, penalties and other legal and non-legal settlement costs. Some of the world’s biggest companies have been penalised for failure to abide by AML and KYC compliance. In 2012 HSBC were fined $1.92 billion dollars and BNP were fined $8.9 billion in 2014 for failing to comply with KYC and AML regulations. Another criminal penalty for non-compliance is imprisonmentIn the UK, failure to disclose suspicious transactions is an offense that could result in a maximum prison term of 5 years in addition to fines. The same is also true in Canada.

Money might not be the only thing that you lose if you purchase data from these data providers. Your reputation is also at stake as the study also found that organizations view meeting legal and regulatory requirements as more important than meeting compliance with internal policies and procedures. The way you are perceived by your fellow peers is something that money can’t buy. Having the stigma that your business is unable to meet KYC requirements will cost more than any fine.

To avoid this added pressure your business is going to have to use a reliable data provider. You will need to find a data provider who is able to provide data in real time directly from the registry. Luckily here at Kyckr we provide such a service. The Kyckr API gives you direct access to over 150 business registries globally to perform company searches, access company profiles and filings, cross reference searches on directors, shareholders and others to establish the most complete KYC decision. Having this direct access provides you with the legal essence of the data coming from a register provide protection, whereas that coming from a commercial aggregator provides minimal protection. If you were to order from a data provider that does not refresh its product on a regular basis you leave yourself open to legal and financial exposure. However by using Kyckrs API you are fully compliant with KYC and AML regulations allowing you to continue your business without worrying about any implications.

To learn more about how you can avoid purchasing stale data visit our website Kyckrs website.

In the next blog article we will analyse bad or missing VAT numbers and the associated risks and exposures and why it is important to make sure you have current information, focus on regular refreshes.

Follow us on social media

Facebook 

LinkedIN

 

Twitter

Tags:

VAT Fraud

by Kyckr 31. August 2016 11:30

Bad or missing VAT numbers and the associated risks

This is part 3 of 4 in a blog series that analyses different aspects of Know Your Customer, Know Your Business and Anti Money Laundering compliance issues and risks. In this edition, we will take a closer look at the risks associated with bad or missing VAT numbers, what implications it can have on your business. 

VAT fraud is growing exponentially in EU member states. In fact its growing so fast that some member states trade statistics are tarnished due to inaccuracies caused by VAT fraud. The VAT problem has gotten so bad that it is estimated that €60 - €100 billion is lost per annum in the EU. This highlights the need for the EU to quickly intervene and tackle this problem head on.  To be fair they have taken some measures to stamp out VAT fraud by reducing tax credits and imposing fines on any business that has purchased or sold to a company who is participating in VAT fraud. However the suppression of fiscal borders and more sophisticated methods of fraud have made it increasingly difficult to monitor the millions of trades that happen within the EU every day.

First let’s begin with the function of VAT numbers. A value added tax identification number or VAT identification number (VATIN) is an identifier used in many countries, including the countries of the European Union, for value added tax purposes. It is different from the sales tax in that taxes are applied to the difference between the seller-purchased price and the resale price. It is a simple system which unfortunately makes it easy to cheat. Thousands of businesses within the EU exploit the VAT in order to pocket a bit of extra cash.

The multibillion dollar online market has only made this process easier. Online stores such as Amazon and Ebay are completing millions of transactions every day from every corner of the globe. It is impossible for them to monitor every single purchase that’s made via their website. As a result VAT fraud has become increasingly common in online transactions and it is estimated that the British taxpayer is being cheated out of £1-£1.5 billion every year. Because eBay and Amazon do not enforce EU distance seller regulations, there are several techniques that corporations and fake companies use to trade illegally without charging VAT. Some of these methods are as simple as not displaying a correct or any VAT number. However the more sophisticated sellers are setting up companies registered in different countries, but they just push all sales through their Chinese PayPal accounts without declaring any sales for their UK company.

Former British Chancellor George Osborne during his tenure promised a crackdown on this VAT fraud by forcing online outlets to pay the tax that is owed to the government but this may still not be enough. Despite EU regulations which state “a taxable person who knew or ought to have known that, by his purchase of goods, he was party to a fraudulent transaction can have his right to deduct related input credits refused”, many businesses still take the risk because of the unlikelihood that they will ever be caught. Therefore it is up to you and your company to be diligent when engaging in a business transaction so you can avoid being implicated with VAT fraud.

 If possible try to obtain copies of the Certificate of Incorporation and VAT registration certificates. Any business that claims to have registered for VAT should have no issue handing over copies of these documents. It will help build trust between you and your peers, something which money can’t buy. Alternatively you could try and obtain some form of written and trade references and follow through on these to ensure that they are genuine or obtain credit checks and other background checks from an independent and trustworthy third party.

However the most efficient way to investigate the validity of a VAT number is to verify the VAT registration details which can be easily done. The manual task of VAT number verification is difficult for organisations of all sizes to monitor, particularly if you are an organisation issuing invoices to thousands of business customers on a monthly basis. A time consuming and manual job, that can more often than not be overlooked, results in organisations incurring VAT liability costs that could have been avoided. Kyckr’s automated VAT verification check is a programmatic solution that now automates this otherwise manual process for you and as a result frees you up to work on other important business tasks. 

The VAT Number verification solution verifies VAT number registration validity against the Tax Authority Database of each EU Member State. The Tax Authorities databases in EU Member States contain the VAT Registration data for Registered Traders. Every time a VAT verification check is run, you will be alerted immediately if a result contains any VAT numbers that are not valid.

In the next edition of this blog series we will be discussing the dangers of buying old data from data providers. Using old data may have serious implications for your business and can lead to hefty fines as well as damaging your business credibility.

Additional Resources:

Single Vat Number Checking Tool - We provide a FREE VAT Checking Tool that you can use to verify VAT numbers instantly. This tool is free and will allow you to check if the VAT number you have been given for a company is valid.  

Batch Vat Number Checking Tool - If you have a large customer list then checking vat numbers manually one by one would be a very diffuclt task to maintain and monitor. Our batch VAT checking tool eliminates this problem and many businesses are using it today. To find out more or to make a request today , visit our site for details.

Kyckr Website: www.kyckr.com 

Kyckr Portal (official company searches): portal.kyckr.com 

Join us on Social Media:

Twitter 

Facebook

LinkedIn

Tags: ,

How Money Laundering Happens

by Kyckr 12. August 2016 14:00

This is part 2 of 4 in a blog series that analyses different aspects of Know Your Customer and Anti Money Laundering compliance. We take a closer look at the different techniques used in money laundering. Knowing how fake companies or suspicious individuals acquire their illegal assets is vital knowledge for your business. This allows you to separate the good from the bad and know which deals to avoid so that you don’t get implicated in any illegal activities.

If you have ever seen the acclaimed TV show ‘Breaking Bad’ you’ll be aware that one of the biggest problems the lead character, Walter White, faced was what to do with the millions he generated from his crystal meth empire.  In the show he purchases a car wash to serve as a front for his new found fortune in order to avoid suspicion from the federal government. Through this process he was able to avoid any legal trouble and was viewed by most people as a man in his fifties who owned a very lucrative car wash company.

 You’d be foolish to think that a scenario like this only happens in the movies or on TV. Money laundering is one of the most committed crimes across the globe. From corrupt politicians to drug cartels to tax cheats, it is pervasive. It’s an international crime epidemic that is committed in pretty much every country in the world. According to Business Insider the total annual outflow of money lost to the economy, among 20 emerging economies, was $5.9 trillion, equivalent to $49 billion a month. No nation is more affected than China. It is estimated that between 2002 and 2011 $1.08 trillion departed the country illegally despite there being strict currency laws that prohibit large sums of money crossing its borders without first obtaining a permit. 

So how does anyone who participates in money laundering slip one trillion dollars through the fingers of the world’s leading economies? Back to our fictional character from Breaking Bad,  Mr. White’s method was one of having a shop, transacting in cash, act as a front for his ‘other’ activities. It is usually more associated with drug cartels and gangs. For corrupt politicians and businessmen who want to avoid taxes it turns out there are quite a few different techniques to launder illicit funds through the system. One of the most common ways in China is for people to convert local currency into another currency via poker chips. For a fee people called ‘junkets’ will give you poker chips for your currency. You can then enter a casino, cash the chips straight away or, if you’re feeling lucky, you can use them to gamble. Convert the chips into whatever currency you want and walk out with the cash that on the surface was acquired legally. You can then wire those funds to anywhere in the world with no repercussions.

Another popular method used across the globe is to hire ‘Smurfs’. No, not the blue creatures on the popular kids television show, Smurfs are just regular people like you and me who are hired by the big guys to make a number of small bank deposits or transactions over a prolonged period of time. Internet banking has only contributed to making Smurfs more popular and more lucrative. In Hong Kong, teenager Luo Juncheng moved $1.67 billion to offshore accounts by making 8500 transactions. Carson Yeung, also from Hong Kong and former president of Birmingham City football club, was sentenced to six years in prison for laundering $91.27 million in the thousands via small transactions. 

Diamonds are also a common method to get money over international borders. Those who partake in this particular method are believed to buy diamonds in a foreign territory and then smuggle them in tubes of toothpaste or food cartons. Once you land on home soil simply wash the diamonds and then sell them for what they’re worth. This is becoming extremely risky as stricter airline and travel regulations have made it tougher to smuggle anything, not just diamonds on to airplanes.

However the big shots don’t dare to launder their large sums of money through the risky methods that we just discussed. These individuals are laundering millions, if not billions, of dollars through corporate deals (bribes, kickbacks, and embezzlement schemes), which are exempt from currency controls. If you want to receive a $1 million bribe, or kickback, for giving a lucrative and excessively priced contract to a foreign or local business. You approve the contract, and its payment, and pad the consideration by a few million, which includes $1 million for yourself. This is a method that is primarily used in real estate and is actually having a major impact on the housing market. Documents that were leaked in the Panama Papers stated that London is the most popular destination for these sorts of deals and is a genuine concern amongst the cities inhabitants as house prices have increased by 50% since 2007. Donald Toon, head of the U.K.’s National Crime Agency, said last year that “the London property market has been skewed by laundered money. Prices are being artificially driven up by overseas criminals who want to sequester their assets here in the UK”.

With trillions of dollars being laundered across the globe every year it has become the globe’s most lucrative criminal enterprise. However attempts by America, Russia, China and the EU to crack down on this epidemic have been somewhat successful. It is becoming increasingly more difficult to find ‘good’ banks that will harbour your illegal funds due to the implications it could have on their business. Because of this, some extremely high profile figures have been discovered to have partaken in money laundering. With the governments of the Western world cracking down hard on money laundering it is likely you are going to see a lot more cases all around the globe.

To see how you can protect your business from money laundering visit Kyckr’s website and have a look at the AML compliance products that we have at our disposal to protect you and your business.

In the next edition, we will take a closer look at the risks associated with bad or missing VAT numbers, what implications it can have on your business. 

Follow us on social media

Facebook

LinkedIn

Twitter

Tags: , , ,

Blog | Risk Management

How Much Does Bad Data Cost?

by Kyckr 5. August 2016 15:00

This is part 1 of 4 in a blog series that analyses different aspects of Know Your Customer and Anti Money Laundering compliance. This edition analyses the costs of KYC. KYC is something which is consistently underappreciated in the world of business and costs some businesses millions of dollars due to small discrepancies which can be easily fixed. This post also analyses how you can repair the damage done by incorrect KYC information and how to do it without an expensive and time-consuming manual process.

The importance of data quality has never been more important as it dictates how good the relationship is that you have with your customer.  Good data will allow you to increase and develop brand loyalty, while bad data will impair your ability to attend to your customers’ needs.

With 84% of organizations reporting that they suffer from data quality issues in some form, what exactly causes bad customer data? Bad data can result from a vast number of reasons that very few companies are immune from. Missing data, wrong or inaccurate data, duplicated data and Plain old, out-of-date data are all causes for the bad data problem. If a company is unable to eradicate these sorts of discrepancies from its system it can have significant consequences.

Research conducted by Experian, a global information services company, found that poor quality data can cost businesses up to a quarter of their revenue. Bad data can give a company the undesired reputation of being incapable of handling their own business. If a company has this sort of stigma it’s going to find it tough to find new partners to do business with. The same study which took place in America discovered that 32% of U.S. organizations have inaccurate contact data within their databases. This sort of carelessness can alienate investors from wanting to work with a company who would be perceived as unfit to work with at a professional standard.

The impact of bad data can stretch beyond how a company is viewed externally. Bad data can also greatly affect the internal actions of a business which will undoubtedly hinder your ability to improve revenue.  Without good analysis and data management sales and marketing teams will be unable to effectively sell and manage prospects as well as look after their customers. Accurate client data is also the backbone to creating a rewarding experience for a customer. Customers demand that they have the most simplistic way to purchase your business’s product. If a customer encounters any problems that are a result of bad data they are more inclined to take their money elsewhere, where it will likely be your competitors who will reap the rewards caused by your mistakes.

Having a lack of high quality data also greatly affects your ability to conduct proper analysis or any operation concerning business intelligence. This will lead your company to make poor business decisions and to possibly enter ventures as a consequence.

It is essential that, as a business, you review your data to eradicate any of the discrepancies that were mentioned above. Failure to do so will cost your company money and be a hindrance to developing any lasting business relationships. However, cleansing your entire customer database may also prove costly and time consuming depending on the size of your business.  Ensuring that you maintain accurate customer details can be done by accessing business registers around the world to check and maintain those customer records. This is especially pertinent to regulated industries where good date practices are a legal requirement.

The first critical step to best KYC data management is the data cleansing process. Done correctly, this sets a solid foundation. Automating this can be performed through a rules-based workflow. By reducing the requirement for manual involvement, this process dramatically reduces the time it takes to cleanse entire customer and supplier books which in turn reduces processing costs and times.

The second step to best KYC data management is customer remediation. Customer data should be checked for completeness, consistency, duplication, integrity and accuracy.  Businesses must ensure the information they have on customers is managed with the greatest of veracity. Unlike manual processes, when it comes to data remediation, you should be proactive not reactive.  Through the use of purpose built rules-based decision engines, the accuracy of customer data and the overall efficiency of your business can be significantly improved.

Real-time event monitoring is the next step and the most important to retain an accurate customer book. By applying specially defined rules that watch for and analyse event changes relating to any customer on an existing customer book change data can be captured in real-time. This step is fundamental to identifying KYC risk and getting your business to the point where it can demonstrate that a best-in-class, transparent KYC and AML compliance process is in place.

We hope that this blog post has been helpful to both you and your business. If you wish to discover more ways on how to improve your business database, visit our website http://www.kyckr.com/

In the next edition of this series we will be discussing different money laundering techniques that are used by drug cartels, corrupt politician and tax evading businessmen. Money laundering is a global epidemic and it is important to know how exactly those who participate in such a serious crime are obtaining their money through illegal methods. It is vital information for you to know, so you and your business don’t become implicated in dodgy deals which could have serious implications.

Follow us on social media for updates about Kyckr along with news about blockchain and the fintech sector.

Twitter 

Facebook

LinkedIn

Tags: , , , ,

Blog

Introduction to blog series

by Kyckr 29. July 2016 17:00

 

If you are a bank or a regulated financial organisation the first step in establishing good risk and compliance practices and, by extension, good business relationships is to make sure that you have the correct information about your customers stored in your systems.  Failure to perform this critical task puts your business at risk of regulatory fines, reputational and financial loss as a consequence. Robust KYC processes combined with best-in-class authoritative data are vital to creating a good business network.  This helps you to quickly and efficiently recognise entities that may have suspicious activities funding their operations that could expose you to breaches of AML and CTF legislation.

The goal of this blog series is to inform the reader of the risks of not updating and maintaining compliance on their KYC data. Our first post in this series will focus on the costs of KYC data. Millions of businesses around the world do not cleanse their KYC data on a regular basis. We analyse how much this cost amounts to every year and the implications it has on businesses all across the globe.

The second edition will discuss the different techniques that are used for money laundering. Money laundering is a global epidemic and it is important to know how, exactly, those who participate in such a serious crime are obtaining their money through illegal methods. It is vital information for you as a business manager to know so you and your business don’t become implicated in dodgy deals.

Thirdly we will explain why not all sources of data on companies are equal. We will look at the different data registries around the world and analyse how to recognise good data from bad data.

Finally we will look at bad or missing VAT numbers and the associated risks and exposures. Failure to update these VAT numbers on a frequent basis could be a huge problem for your business and may even result in you violating tax laws creating undue financial risks for your business.

 

We hope this blog series will prove to be useful to you and your business and will inform you as to why good customer data is so important for your business

Tags: , ,

Blog | Welcome to our Blog

How to check your client’s VAT registration number is correct?

by Kyckr 23. October 2015 15:04

 


 

Before supplying goods or services, you must check whether your client is VAT Registered and holds a valid VAT number. 

As of January 2010, a company that is registered in the EU and supplying B2B services to another company that is also registered in the EU (in any of the Jurisdictions) is responsible and obligated to carry out regular VAT validation checks to ensure that the VAT number they hold on that company is valid. Failure to do this can result in financial penalties.

Single VAT Number Checking

We provide a FREE VAT Checking Tool that you can use to verify VAT numbers. This tool is free to use and will allow you to check the vat number for a company registered in any of the EU Member States. It is quick and easy to use, all you need to know is the Member State the company is registered in and the VAT number. It will instantly verify the validity of a VAT number and display the result on screen for you; you also receive an email that is date stamped to keep for your records.

Batch VAT Checking Request:

If you have a large customer list then you are facing a very time consuming task. If this applies to you, then you may want to check out our vat batch processing tool. We developed this tool for this exact problem that so many businesses face.  This tool can be set up to run automatic vat checks on your behalf for the vat numbers that you supply to us. Check it out here if you you would like to read more.

Tags: ,

VAT

About Kyckr

Access to Live Company Data in over 150 Corporate Registries Globally using a single user account.

We are the largest provider of officially sourced Live Company Information. We do not alter or store any company information. Our global company search network is connected to official government registries across the globe, so you have real time access everytime from a single user interface.

We have the solution you require to identify companies faster and access live company information easily from one sign up.

Register Today

Popular Products

Company Search        Company Monitor

           Check Vat Number

Company Search API

Client on-boaridng, Risk Management, AML Compliance and Know Your Customer projects.

Just one integration is required for your organisation to have direct access to over 150 Corporate Registries. Our API provides worldwide coverage to offical company filings for all your KYC and AML compliance projects. 

READ MORE...