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SmartSearch combats global money laundering with new weapon

Anti-money laundering specialist SmartSearch has launched a ‘new weapon’ in the ongoing fight against dirty cash being cleaned around the world through activities such as buying property.

Organised crime gangs and fraudsters are now thought to be responsible for up to $2 trillion a year in money laundering, which is being enabled due to a lack of basic ID checks and document verification, according to SmartSearch.

In response, the firm has now launched SmartDoc, an advanced document verification system that uses a combination of cutting-edge facial ID technology and a level of expert analysis at the same level as border security officials.


According to chief executive officer of John Dobson, SmartDoc would not only help businesses in the property, legal and financial service sectors prevent fraud, but also help them remain compliant with global regulations which would result in hefty fines and even prosecution if breached.

He says: “We have built a reputation over the past ten years for our market-leading digital verification solution, which is by far the most effective way to carry out anti-money laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) checks.”

“But we have launched SmartDoc to run alongside that as another weapon in the armoury for those businesses which feel the need to carry out document verification as part of their customer due diligence.”

SmartDoc incorporates facial recognition to identify forged ID documents which include photographs, such as passports, driving licences, work permits amongst others. The system ensures regulated businesses can securely authenticate customer identities, preventing fraud and allowing them to remain compliant with AML legislation.

“While we would always advise customers that electronic verification is the quickest and most reliable way to perform KYC and AML checks, a document checking solution is a key tool due to the vast increase in attempted fraud as a result of the global pandemic,” Dobson adds.

“The lack of face-to-face interactions caused by lockdown opened a window for criminals to attempt to deceive, and despite restrictions being relaxed, this wave of fraud has not stopped.”

“But businesses need to be aware that they are responsible for ensuring they comply with AML regulations and could face severe fines for allowing this activity to go on unchecked.”

By combining leading document authentication technology and the latest biometric verification and liveness detection techniques, SmartDoc provides an accurate picture of the customer, which removes the need for face-to-face interaction.

Not only does the technology confirm whether a document is genuine and unaltered, but that it also belongs to the person presenting it, providing an additional layer of security to identity checks.

It then provides a pass-fail result and screens the customer against politically exposed persons (PEP) and sanctions lists.

The SmartDoc service combines machine-learning interrogation and an optical character recognition algorithmic check on the ID document machine-readable zone, verifying whether the document is genuine and unaltered, with full data integration to identify document tampering.

Where necessary, it also uses visual scrutiny by a border security trained ID document expert, who will examine every aspect to check security features found in genuine documents, as well as key indicators of potential forgery.


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