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SearchWorks offers users 160 different search types, giving companies in the process of onboarding new clients instant access to verified identities, updated contact details, account verifications, and more. Picture: SUPPLIED/SEARCHWORKS
SearchWorks offers users 160 different search types, giving companies in the process of onboarding new clients instant access to verified identities, updated contact details, account verifications, and more. Picture: SUPPLIED/SEARCHWORKS

As technology advances and becomes more sophisticated, so does digital crime, with fraudsters continually adapting to stay ahead of detection methods.

A recent report by PwC in its “Global Economic Crime and Fraud” survey, found that SA’s rate of economic crime is significantly higher than the global average of 46%.

Its 2020 survey reported that about 7% of companies defrauded over the previous 24 months had lost more than R740m, and 4% about R1.5bn. 

Even more concerning are the findings of a survey conducted by the Nelson Mandela University, which showed that though respondents were aware of the seriousness of fraud and its impact on their bottom line, only 10% had made provision in their budgets for combating it.

While it is impossible to eliminate risk entirely, by implementing more stringent know your customer (KYC) and know your business (KYB) measures when onboarding new clients, SA businesses can stop fraud and financial crime in its tracks. 

Though KYC has become a significant priority for all businesses, the manual checks it requires can be time-consuming and are open to human error, corruption or fraud.

SearchWorks, an innovative data aggregation platform that allows users to conduct live, accurate individual, company and property searches and in-depth KYC checks online, aims to make this process less laborious, more successful, efficient and easy to do.

The platform does this by offering users 160 different search types, giving companies in the process of onboarding new clients instant access to verified identities, updated contact details, account verifications, and more, and provides a report with the results in real time.

SearchWorks is aligned with the national credit regulator and credit bureaus to ensure searches are performed within the confines of the law and the governing bodies of the associated organisations, allowing the following information to be easily accessed:

1. Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC) reports 

Verifications of the company and its directors can be conducted via the CIPC. By doing this, you can confirm that the company exists, the nature of its business, verify the identity of the directors, and ensure they are still active in the business. You can also check its registered physical addresses and its registration status. 

SearchWorks allows you to conduct live, accurate individual, company and property searches and in-depth 'know your customer' checks online. Picture: SUPPLIED/SEARCHWORKS
SearchWorks allows you to conduct live, accurate individual, company and property searches and in-depth 'know your customer' checks online. Picture: SUPPLIED/SEARCHWORKS

2. Business reports 

Company profile checks can be performed to get an overall summary of the business, assess its current financial performance and business credit score.

3. Account verifications 

Bank account details provided by the suppliers can be confirmed as accurate and are that of the company. You need copies of bank statements, ID and proof of address.

4. Credit reports 

This is applicable when you extend a line of credit to ensure that the companies you are about to enter into agreements with are creditworthy.

Ordinarily, you would need to go to various organisations individually and ask for consent every time to vet a new business contact, but with SearchWorks, this can all be done on one platform. 

SearchWorks also offers businesses the ability to perform detailed politically exposed person (PEP) and sanctions checks when onboarding new customers and during the review of clients — to ensure that its reputation, revenue and capital are well protected. 

Keeping the tainted funds of corrupt individuals and businesses out of the legitimate financial system is a vital outcome of effective KYC procedures. These checks help to lower the risk of your business being used as a vehicle for criminal activities.

Nearly 70% of organisations globally report their most serious fraud incidents come via external attack, in the form of hackers or organised crime syndicates — according to PwC’s latest survey. Not only can this type of fraud lead to huge financial loss, but also a ruined reputation, which can lead to the downfall of a business. 

Now more than ever organisations need to have systems in place to reduce the risk of falling victim to these financial crimes. Businesses have the power to fight fraud by ensuring consistent KYC procedures are in place during onboarding.

With SearchWorks, this process can be done quickly and accurately, without disrupting customer journeys.

This article was paid for by SearchWorks. 

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