KYC vs KYB: What are the Key Differences?

In the fast-paced world of online finance, where every transaction whizzes by at lightning speed, errors can happen. For many new businesses in the digital age, KYC (Know Your Customer) and KYB (Know Your Business) often get lumped together as a single, confusing hurdle. It is therefore understandable that deciphering the KYC vs KYB landscape can feel like untangling a complex knot. This article delves into the key differences to draw a clear roadmap. Buckle up as we demystify the key differences between KYC and KYB, empowering you to make informed decisions for your business.

What are KYC and KYB?

KYC and KYB serve as integral processes in third-party financial regulation services. Even though they share similarities, the two processes have some important distinctions. KYC focuses on verifying the identity of individual customers, while KYB extends this scrutiny to businesses, aiming to establish and verify their identities. Both processes play a pivotal role in safeguarding financial services conducted online.

What is KYC?

KYC, or Know Your Customer, is a regulatory requirement aimed at identifying customers before opening an account. This is a legal requirement in various countries, including the USA, to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing. It involves collecting personally identifiable information (PII) such as name, date of birth, address, Social Security number, and credit status. KYC helps financial institutions put a face and name to their customers, preventing online fraud and complying with anti-money laundering (AML) regulations.

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What is KYB?

KYB, or Know Your Business, is a more extensive compliance process than KYC. While KYB mirrors KYC in a lot of ways, it is tailored for businesses engaging with other businesses. KYB involves vetting and verifying a range of corporate and business entities that can span borders, tax regimes, and regulatory environments. It is designed to prevent fraud and money laundering by entities such as terrorist financiers, drug traffickers, and international crime groups. It includes manually searching legal filings, obtaining documents from ultimate beneficial owners (UBOs), and cross-checking financial statements.

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Difference between KYC and KYB [KYC vs KYB]

👉 Regulations:

KYC

The regulatory framework for KYC is centered around fulfilling the Patriot Act of 2001 requirements and the Customer Due Diligence (CDD) Final Rule in the United States.

KYB

KYB regulations are more extensive and vary by country, with each having its own set of laws and regulations.

👉 Verification Process:

KYC

  1. Involves collecting PII during online account registration, followed by the verification of supporting documents such as passports or IDs to ensure the accuracy of the provided information.
  2. The verification process is typically simpler and quicker, involving the collection of basic personal information from the individual customer.

KYB

  1. Requires businesses to vet and verify a broader range of data, including legal filings, UBO documents, and financial statements. The process is more intricate and time-consuming compared to KYC.
  2. Verification is a more complex and time-consuming process due to the intricacies of business ownership structures.

👉 Pricing:

KYC

The verification process for individuals tends to be relatively straightforward and less expensive due to the simplicity of the information required.

KYB

Given the complexity of gathering and verifying extensive business information, KYB verification can be more expensive than KYC.

👉Solutions:

KYC

Benefits from technology-based solutions like facial recognition and document verification tools, streamlining the verification process.

KYB

While some solutions exist, KYB verification is often more manual due to the intricacies of business ownership structures and compliance regulations.

kyc vs kyb

KYC and KYB Regulations in Different Countries

Navigating the ever-changing landscape of financial regulations can be daunting, especially when it comes to Know Your Customer (KYC) and Know Your Business (KYB) requirements. While both KYC and KYB aim to combat financial crime and uphold regulatory compliance, they differ in their specific focus and implementation across different countries. Let’s delve into the intricacies of KYC and KYB regulations in various key markets:

1: USA

The US has a risk-based approach to KYC and KYB. The level of due diligence required varies depending on the perceived risk associated with the customer or transaction. For instance, higher-risk customers may require enhanced due diligence, involving additional verification measures and ongoing monitoring. Both KYC and KYB regulations in the US emphasize verifying customer identity and beneficial ownership. The Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and the USA PATRIOT Act form the foundation for these regulations.

KYC focuses on individual customers, requiring verification of basic information like name, address, date of birth, and government-issued ID. KYB, on the other hand, digs deeper, mandating the identification and verification of beneficial owners of businesses opening accounts. This includes details like the owners’ identities, nationalities, and their percentage of ownership. This additional layer of scrutiny aims to prevent criminals from hiding behind corporate structures.

2: Canada

Canada requires financial institutions to report suspicious activity to the Financial Transactions and Reports Analysis Centre of Canada (FINTRAC). Additionally, certain businesses, such as money service businesses, are subject to more stringent KYC/KYB requirements compared to traditional financial institutions. Similar to the US, Canada adopts a risk-based approach. The Proceeds of Crime and Terrorist Financing Act (PCMLTFA) lays out the KYC/KYB framework for financial institutions.

Both KYC and KYB follow the same basic principles as in the US, with KYC focusing on individual verification and KYB delving deeper into business ownership structures. However, the level of due diligence required can differ based on the risk assessment conducted by the financial institution.

3: UK

The UK has a concept called Enhanced Due Diligence (EDD), which applies to higher-risk situations. EDD involves more stringent verification measures, including obtaining information on the source of wealth and funds of the customer or business.

Like the US and Canada, the UK emphasizes both KYC and KYB regulations. The Money Laundering Regulations 2017 outline the framework for customer verification, risk assessment, and ongoing monitoring. Similar to other countries, KYC focuses on individual verification, while KYB necessitates verification of beneficial owners and control structures of businesses. However, the UK regulations are more specific in outlining the types of documents and information required for verification.

4: Australia

Australia has a designated regulator, the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC), responsible for overseeing compliance with AML/CTF regulations. Additionally, the KYC/KYB requirements can be tailored to specific industries based on their inherent risks.

Australia, like many developed nations, follows a risk-based approach to KYC/KYB. The Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (AML/CTF Act) outlines the framework for organizations subject to KYC reporting regulations. KYC focuses on verifying individual customers, similar to other countries. KYB, however, goes beyond just verifying beneficial ownership. It also requires verification of the business’s activities, purpose, and source of funds. This comprehensive approach aims to identify and mitigate potential money laundering or terrorist financing risks.

10 Key Factors to Consider While Choosing a KYB Software Solution

5: Germany

Germany has a three-tiered risk classification system for KYC/KYB. The level of due diligence required depends on the assigned risk category, with higher-risk categories requiring more in-depth verification procedures.

Germany, like other countries, emphasizes both KYC and KYB. The German Anti-Money Laundering Act (GwG) mandates businesses to verify customer information, including name, address, place of birth, nationality, and date of birth. KYC in Germany aligns with other countries, focusing on individual verification. KYB, however, requires verification of basic information about the business, including its legal name and registration number. While Germany requires verification of beneficial ownership under certain circumstances, the specific details may vary depending on the legal structure of the business.

6: France

France has a designated body, the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of the Bank of France, responsible for receiving and analyzing reports of suspicious activity from financial institutions. This helps authorities identify and investigate potential money laundering or terrorist financing activities.

Like other countries, France enforces both KYB and KYC regulations. The AMF General Regulation outlines the framework for customer verification, risk assessment, and ongoing monitoring. These regulations aim to prevent financial crimes by ensuring businesses understand their customers and identify potential risks.

Similar to other jurisdictions, KYC focuses on individual verification, while KYB delves deeper into business ownership structures. However, French regulations are more specific in requiring specific documents for verification, including government-issued IDs, proof of address, and documents verifying occupation and income.

Conclusion

Distinguishing between KYC and KYB is crucial for businesses to navigate the regulatory landscape effectively. While KYC focuses on individual customers, KYB delves into the legitimacy and structure of businesses. The differences extend to regulations, verification processes, pricing, and solutions.

Understanding these distinctions and the specific KYC and KYB requirements in your target markets is essential for ensuring global compliance. This knowledge empowers businesses to foster a secure financial ecosystem. By partnering with KYC Hub, you can confidently navigate the global compliance landscape, focusing on growing your business with peace of mind.

We offer a comprehensive suite of solutions to streamline your compliance journey. Reduce manual tasks and proactively identify suspicious activity; tailor solutions to your specific needs and risk profile to expedite onboarding processes; by leveraging solutions like KYC Hub, businesses can foster secure financial interactions. Choose KYC Hub as your trusted partner for navigating the ever-evolving complexities of KYB vs KYC.

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