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The KYC Registry continues to foster trust across our community

The KYC Registry continues to foster trust across our community

Know Your Customer,
9 December 2021 | 4 min read

New capabilities underline the critical role the KYC Registry plays within the Swift community.

By building trust between financial institutions around the world and developing solutions that harness better bank-to-bank relationships, we are able to de-risk sectors, regions and countries whilst facilitating transparent but secure transactions.

Know Your Customer (KYC) checks are an important part of this. Without KYC, financial institutions around the world would be left vulnerable when taking on new clients or revising existing relationships. For many institutions, however, KYC is time consuming and inefficient.

The KYC Registry is expanding and improving

When we first launched the KYC Registry in 2014, our aim was to make the KYC process as efficient as possible − improving data collection and working with our community to define a suitable information baseline that meets regulatory requirements.

Since then, having opened the doors to Swift-connected corporates, we have seen the KYC Registry enter a new growth phase, with many of the largest, globally operating corporates adopting the registry in a bid to simplify their compliance processes. Global corporates who rely on relationships with multiple banks have thus been able to experience the same benefits as the banking community and focus more time on delivering value.

Important updates and improved offering

The latest KYC Registry release went live at the end of November 2021. It provides users with a number of important updates and improved features to make completing due diligence as seamless as possible. Whether you’re a bank or corporate, this release will make your KYC process quicker and more efficient, leaving you more time to complete value-added work.

Enhancements include:
  • Entity-based question sets designed to streamline the process − The KYC Registry now provides a single platform for all users, regardless of entity type. When arriving on the platform, users are provided with an initial set of questions to confirm the nature of their business. This selection will automatically hide questions that are not relevant for their institution, resulting in a more streamlined application process.
  • Modular data submissions that offer greater flexibility to users − Prior to the latest release, the registry’s information submission process required users to contribute all of their data and documentation for one category before submitting it for Swift validation; categories often featured a large number of data fields. Sourcing this information from different internal departments is time-consuming, so we sought to provide a more intuitive solution. We have now broken these categories down into ‘modules’ − which act as subcategories. These can be individually submitted, reducing bottlenecks and increasing ease-of-use.
  • Maintaining high data quality, without compromise − The new release has introduced major baseline content updates in line with the latest EU and US regulatory requirements. We have refined additional data fields to align the data quality with these regulations, meaning users can still collect all the required KYC information from a single source.
  • Enhanced user experience − To ensure registry users have the best possible experience, we have standardised the baseline structure. Users can now benefit from the efficiency of a modular baseline structure with a much-improved interface. Moreover, for users connecting to the registry via our API channel, this standardised structure will ensure better functionality, enabling them to monitor, in real time, changes to their counterparties’ KYC information.

Further enhancements are on the way

Our goal is to enable instant and frictionless cross-border payments – and increased efficiency in performing compliance checks plays a key role in achieving this. With the registry, we are already simplifying the process for banks and corporates in our community. But, we understand that other financial institutions can also benefit from all the registry has to offer.

To this end, we’re planning to make KYC checks more efficient for a subset of Non-bank Financial Institutions (NBFIs) in our community. This extension has been requested by a number of stakeholders and existing KYC Registry users. So, we’ve worked with banks and NBFIs to determine NBFI-specific baseline data and documentation requirements.

Bart Claeys
“As we look to the future, we’re expanding the registry further and simplifying KYC for those Non-Bank Financial Institutions (NBFIs) customers that are already connected to Swift. This move will enable brokers, investment and asset managers, insurers and lenders on our network to reap the same rewards as corporates and banks."
Bart Claeys Head of Data and Analytics Products Strategy, Swift

In addition to this development, our partnership with the International Securities Services Association (ISSA), has helped them to update their Due Diligence Questionnaire (DDQ): We will implement this updated ISSA DDQ within the registry as a standalone module for banks and NBFIs operating in the securities space, so they can contribute their securities information.

Learn more about the KYC Registry

A secure, global platform for sharing KYC data