Refinitiv has announced a new partnership with Japan’s Liquid, Inc. to streamline the electronic Know Your Customer (eKYC) process for the Japanese market. The agreement will combine the screening capabilities of Refinitiv’s World-Check One solution with Liquid Inc’s biometric authentication service, LIQUID eKYC, to help financial services providers improve their customer on-boarding and transaction capabilities.
Liquid, Inc. will incorporate the risk screening capabilities of World-Check One via Refinitiv’s open API technology, which is designed to provide an interface for third-parties to easily integrate World-Check’s risk intelligence data with their own proprietary systems and technology offerings.
“Through the combination of Liquid’s eKYC service and Refinitiv’s World-Check One, we are enhancing the timeliness and safety of our KYC operations,” says Yasuhiro Kuda, CEO of Liquid. “We are also establishing more robust countermeasures for tackling financial crime through the use of biometric authentication and cloud technologies with the aim of realising a safer society.”
The move follows recent regulatory developments in Japan, including amendments to the Japanese Act on the Prevention of Transfer of Criminal Proceeds, which now enables banks and financial services providers to process applications for new accounts and conduct transactions using digital identification and authentication.
It also marks the expanded outlook of Refinitiv since the spin-off from Thomson Reuters, and could mark the start of a new focus on Asian potential.
“We are seeing the emergence of RegTech providers globally, but many of the players are very focused on local market opportunities, as opposed to scaling across multiple markets. Clearly, as business becomes more digital and more open, the need for financial services providers to screen and know their customers becomes more pronounced,” explains James Mirfin, Global Head of Digital Identity and Financial Crime at Refinitiv, speaking to RTI. “We are working with customers, regulators and partners to address those challenges, the partnership with Liquid Inc is one example of providing our global risk intelligence data which can be integrated with emerging technology, such as biometrics, to meet regulatory requirements around the world.”
The move towards eKYC is also representative of a growing concern around and focus on the issue of cross-border regulation of digital identity – a question that regulators are currently struggling to answer.
“Digital Identity is a big topic, and it is being approached in a multitude of different ways. In many markets, governments are trying to drive a level of consistency, or standardised approach, however many of those programmes focus on citizen services as a primary driver of consumer adoption,” adds Mirfin. “The variety of ways in which governments are approaching this is difficult for financial services firms operating in multiple markets to try and adopt. We believe the best solution is an open, federated digital identity programme with consistent standards, and a level of portability for consumers in their use of it.”