Financial institutions must prioritise customer identification in order to prevent money laundering, terrorist financing, and other forms of criminal activities from transpiring unimpeded. Each person’s risk profile needs to be established up front, and their financial activities should be periodically monitored afterward.
‘Know your customer’ (KYC) protocols, sometimes known as KYC, are used in this situation. KYC goes beyond simply having their name and date of birth on hand. In-depth identification verification is what KYC is all about in order to determine each customer’s risk profile.
In an effort to make the process as seamless as possible, institutions have increasingly turned toward biometric KYC verification.
However, this need has branched out beyond the banking sector, and other sectors are starting to use biometric KYC verification technology. A KYC verification tool for breeders has been introduced by PetsForHomes, a pet classified advertising website based out of Sydney, Australia.
How Does KYC in Australia Work?
Like other countries, Australia has its own legally mandated KYC protocols to which businesses must adhere. Some examples of institutions that employ KYC protocols are banks and brokerages. The cryptocurrency industry also takes KYC very seriously due to the potential for fraud and criminal activity on cryptocurrency exchanges.
Anti-money laundering measures (AML) and the countering of terrorism funding (CTF) are two fundamental tenets on which the KYC legislation in Australia are built. All KYC guidelines and procedures are laid forth by the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC).
Other customer-focused organisations, even though they may be exempt from the mandate to employ KYC protocols, are free to voluntarily adopt AUSTRAC rules. This shows customers that a company prioritises security and safety above all else.
How is Biometric KYC Different?
For decades, KYC verification has been a requirement when opening a bank account, albeit often being done by hand. Customers are required to produce identification for financial institutions as part of this process, where it is examined by staff members and verified as authentic.
In contrast, digital verification through a biometric KYC system is not only faster, but also easier for all parties involved. Customers can be verified quickly – often within minutes or even seconds – allowing them to access the full roster of services offered by a financial institution or business.
PetsForHomes Plans to Leverage KYC Verification to Increase Security
In many cases, opening an account on an online pet marketplace is free, and almost no identity verification is necessary. These online marketplaces merely offer a venue to list adverts; they do not manage the actual transactions between breeders and buyers. The real financial transaction takes place between the breeder and the buyer.
One unfortunate side-effect of this is that there are a lot of shady profiles looking to con actual breeders and buyers on online pet marketplaces.
These phoney accounts frequently request a deposit for the desired pet before releasing the animal to the buyer. This is not unheard of with legitimate transactions, so many buyers are quick to comply. However, since the phoney account may be using stolen or fraudulent information, they may simply disappear with the deposit and abandon the account.
The legitimate breeders whose information has been stolen are now blamed for the scam transaction, while the buyers are out the entire deposit amount. Deposits may be anywhere from 100 AUD to 2000 AUD, depending on the cost of the animal being bought.
PetsForHomes aims to use their biometric KYC verification tool as a solution to this problem. Breeders can use this tool and obtain a unique Breeder Verification Badge to display on each of their adverts after joining the PetsForHomes online pet marketplace. This badge informs pet buyers on PetsforHomes that the breeder’s identification has been verified, and they can be held accountable for fraudulent transactions.
Regarding the recent launch of this tool, PR Manager Kate Teng said, ‘Our aim has always been to increase transparency within the pet community. When we started PetsForHomes, we planned to have accountability for breeders by being the only site to have breeder reviews.Implementing KYC verification is another step toward that goal. Our hope is that puppy farms and identity thieves will no longer be able to hide from the pet community, and will finally be stamped out.’
Whether you’re looking for cats or dogs for sale online, this new tool to fight against fraudulent or irresponsible breeders should be a welcome addition to online pet marketplaces