What is Customer Due Diligence?

Customer Due Diligence is applicable to the entire financial sector. As a result, all financial institutions must adopt a risk-based approach to remain compliant. The nature of this due diligence will vary according to the nature of the business relationship and the risk profile of the customer.

After all, the bank needs to comprehend the money laundering and terrorist financing risks associated with its customers’ risk profiles. As an essential step, it has elements that all businesses operating in finance should be aware of. That is why we discuss the intricacies of Customer Due Diligence (CDD) in this article.

What is Customer Due Diligence?

Customer due diligence is the process of checking the background and screening of possible and current customers. This is done to make sure that the customers are low-risk and not involved in money laundering, sanctions, terrorism, or money muling.

Some businesses must conduct customer due diligence on their customers as part of their ongoing effort to combat money laundering and financial crime. Checking customers against lists (PEPs and Sanctions) and confirming their identity are both part of the minimum CDD.

Customer Onboarding in Banking

Why is Customer Due Diligence important?

Customer Due Diligence (CDD) is of utmost importance in the current digital era, as identities are more flexible and online transactions are becoming more prevalent. To comprehend its significance, one must carefully examine the dangers it mitigates and the diverse advantages it provides.

1: Customer Confidence

In the payments business, trust is very important. Not surprisingly, one in three banks has lost possible customers because their onboarding processes are too slow or not working well. Customers want their banking information to be kept safe and not need to be touched. Because of this, compliance staff must have more than one interaction with a customer in order to get information, check it, and give the customer comfort.

Client Due Diligence entails meticulous procedures for verifying one’s identity. By employing methods such as document verification and biometric authentication, businesses may authenticate the identity of clients, ensuring that they are genuine individuals and staying ahead of hackers who employ increasingly complex strategies.

2: Increased Vigilance

It would not be an exaggeration to say that scrutinizing financial institutions may know more about their clients than their own friends and family by the conclusion of the more rigorous processes. Given the rapid evolution and overall complexity of CDD requirements, it is imperative that financial institutions place a high priority on acquiring a comprehensive comprehension of the various types of customer due diligence processes.

If an official sees signs of bad acting or records that should not have been kept but have been, they can punish and fine people. If the authority thinks that illegal activity has taken place and the company is to blame for not finding it, they can shut down the business, if only for a short time.

And if they think there was major carelessness, they can fine both the company and individual officers of the company. If necessary, they can even bring charges against those officers.

How Does the Customer Due Diligence Process Work?

One of the most important procedures for businesses looking to detect and reduce the risk of financial crimes is customer due diligence or CDD. The customer due diligence process has nuances, essential elements, and ways that businesses can successfully traverse it. Below, we go over a few:

1: Establishing your identity

The bank or other financial organization checks out possible customers’ identities and the kinds of businesses they run before starting to do business with them. This means getting information from the customer and making sure it is correct. Many businesses use automatic name verification software that makes document checks quick and easy, making this part easier.

3: Classifying the level of risk as a customer

After making sure the customer is who they say they are, the business figures out and rates the amount of risk that comes with doing business with that customer. Also, businesses need to keep this data safely in a digital place that is easy to get to during government checks.

4: Picking the Right Level of Care

After making sure the customer is who they say they are and figuring out how risky they are, the business needs to choose the best type of CDD checks: simplified due diligence, customer due diligence, or enhanced due diligence (EDD).

KYC Hub's AML Screening and Monitoring Solution

Key Components of Customer Due Diligence?

CDD practices may differ between businesses, but all reporting entities should incorporate a few essential elements in their CDD policies and procedures.

These fundamental elements of CDD are:

  • Financial institutions must gather and authenticate specific customer details like name, address, date of birth, and identification documents to confirm their identity.
  • Financial institutions must assess the level of risk posed by each customer by considering various factors like their occupation, source of income, and residential location. Stricter customer due diligence processes are necessary for customers who have a higher probability of causing issues.
  • Financial institutions must monitor the activities of their clients in order to identify any unusual patterns. These may consist of substantial transactions, recurring inflows or outflows, or engagements with nations or entities that present a significant liability.
  • Continuous due diligence is important throughout the entire duration of a business relationship, from start to finish. Continuous monitoring helps identify possibly suspicious behavior and confirms the accuracy of the client’s details. This involves keeping track of the customer’s shopping activities, making updates to their profile when needed, and carrying out regular information audits.
  • The goals of financial institutions that do thorough Client Due Diligence are to meet legal and regulatory standards and improve their ability to find and stop financial crimes.
  • All employees who work with CDD in banking need to get the right training on how to follow the rules and processes. With this, everyone will understand how important CDD is and be able to spot and report any strange behavior.

CDD Checklists

While the specific KYC and CDD regulations differ among different institutions, the essential characteristics needed to verify client identity will generally be consistent. In order to fulfill identification criteria, customers need to provide personal information and different documents with personal identifiable information (PII) to verify it in Customer Due Diligence Checklists.

These Customer Due Diligence Checklists include:

  • Full name
  • Birth date
  • Residential and commercial addresses
  • Bills for utilities and insurance
  • Income tax forms
  • Statements from a bank account
  • Relationship with the financial institution
  • Passports, driver’s licenses

When is CDD required?

How often you do customer due diligence on a client depends on a number of things, such as the type of company you run, the jurisdiction where you do business, and the specific rules and regulations that apply to your industry.

Being careful with customers is usually something that you do all the time. It involves getting information about your users and making sure it is correct so that you know who they are, what they do, and how much risk they pose.

Every customer, no matter what kind, goes through changes in their personal and work lives over time. It’s just how things are. One of the jobs of CDD programs is to make sure that any changes in their status, behavior, or anything else that affects their interaction with you are harmless and part of their situation.

If you look closely, any of these changes or many more could be harmless, but you should still check the facts to be sure. If investigations reveal bad behavior or scams, you probably won’t be able to do business with them anymore. You will need to report them to the right law enforcement and/or regulatory bodies, usually through a SAR (Suspicious Activity Report).

To get ongoing CDD, you must first have a quick and easy KYC/KYB onboarding process to make sure that new clients and users are who they say they are. Then you need a way to keep an eye on this data and make sure it stays clean and up-to-date. Any records that have changes or behavior that seems odd should be flagged.

These elements of the whole customer due diligence process should be matched and automated if everything goes as planned. Using manual or partly manual systems requires people to be active at a time when automation is better able to handle the complexity and large amounts of data. People need to be involved sometimes, but only to look at the output and do what needs to be done to examine and fix problems.

Best Practices in Implementing CDD

1: Make an Approach Based On Risk

To do proper customer due diligence, banks should come up with risk-based methods that consider the possible risks that come with various types of clients and deals. This can help make sure that resources are sent to areas with higher risks and that areas with lower risks don’t have too many extra steps to take for due diligence.

2: Collect and Check Accurate Customer Information

To stop scams and make sure they follow all legal and regulatory rules, financial institutions should make sure they collect and check accurate customer information, such as identification papers.

3: Use Technology and Data Analytics

Financial institutions can use technology and data analytics to make customer due diligence more efficient and effective. For example, they can use technology and data analytics to automate identity verification, check for people on sanctions lists and politically exposed individuals, and keep an eye out for any suspicious activity.

KYC Hub’s CDD Solutions

KYC Hub offers a comprehensive suite of tools designed to simplify and strengthen your CDD program. Their solution incorporates features like identity verification with document checks and selfie biometrics, global sanctions list screening to identify potential risks, and PEP (Politically Exposed Person) verification.

KYC Hub’s platform also empowers you with customizable risk assessments and ongoing transaction monitoring, allowing you to tailor CDD in banking measures to your specific needs.

KYC Hub transaction monitoring

Furthermore, KYC Hub leverages automation and AI to expedite the customer due diligence process and minimize manual effort. Embrace efficiency, enhance security, and build trust with KYC Hub’s all-encompassing CDD solution.


By understanding its core principles, the various industry-specific applications, and the best practices for implementing KYC and CDD, we can all play a role in safeguarding ourselves and the financial landscape from criminal activity.

Remember, CDD in banking isn’t just a regulatory hurdle; it’s a collective effort toward a more secure financial future. So, the next time you encounter CDD procedures, appreciate them as a necessary step in building trust and ensuring a thriving financial ecosystem for everyone.

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