When considering partnering with a KYC onboarding tech provider, there are several key questions you should ask in order to guarantee they deliver the solution you need, and not just the solution they can provide.

An examination of recent anti-money laundering (AML) scandals reveals that a large proportion involve customers who have already been onboarded.

As a result, it’s absolutely crucial to ensure that you only onboard customers that have passed all the tests that determine whether or not they pose a risk to your business. Failure to do so not only opens up your business to penalties and fines for not adhering to regulations, but can also result in long-term damage to your business’ reputation.

Implementing the latest automated onboarding solution is a major step toward transforming the way you conduct the critical task of ensuring you do the right business with the right people.

But before you sign on the dotted line – caveat emptor!

When considering partnering with an onboarding tech provider, there are several key questions you should ask in order to guarantee they deliver the solution you need, and not just the solution they can provide.

Onboarding new customers is too important to leave to chance

This fundamental cornerstone of your compliance framework is far too important to entrust to a tech provider that doesn’t understand your business, or indeed fully comprehend the compliance challenges that your business faces.

The hard truth is that in an increasingly unforgiving enforcement landscape, you need more than just a vendor with amazing technology. Yes, you need the very latest automated technology, but it must be based on a deep understanding of the challenges and practical knowledge of how your business operates.

The only way to determine just how good a fit the vendor is for your business is to delve deeper into the solution and services they are offering, by asking the following key questions.

1- How healthy is your business?

The effectiveness of any solution is irrelevant if the business behind it is shaky. Tech companies come and go with frustrating regularity, often leaving behind angry customers who are left with holding nothing more than a now worthless licence.

So, it’s worth digging around to discover just how solid the business is. It is reliant on venture capital funding? Does the business have a positive free cash flow so it can cover its current liabilities without dipping into its cash reserves?

These are just a few of the indicators that will determine the probability of the business still operating in a year’s time.

2- How well do you understand my business?

When selling, many businesses offer you the world, but ultimately fail to deliver. This isn’t necessarily due to a poor product or service, but rather a poor understanding of the individual requirements of your business.

So, it’s imperative that a vendor can demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the background to your business and an even better understanding of the regulatory landscape.

Specifically, quiz the vendor as to who they have in their organisation that has experience of the sector you operate in?

3- What value can you add to the design process?

The initial analysis and design stages are fundamental to the successful implementation of any solution. This also plays to the importance of the tech vendor in question having an in-depth understanding of your business and the sector that it operates in.

Because without this understanding the design process will lack the accuracy and focus that drives the evaluation and subsequent accurate identification and ongoing monitoring of risk.

Consequently, ask any potential vendor how they intend to go about the design of the process and specifically what value can they add to ensure it operates at peak efficiency and capability.

4- How much training and support will you provide?

A truly comprehensive training and support programme should be a given. Not only will this ensure your personnel are able to fully comprehend and utilise the tech to its fullest, but it should ultimately enable you to reap the many benefits of a self-service instance.

From the initial stages of analysis and design, right through to user acceptance testing (UAT) and the final go live, you should demand to be fully involved at every stage.

Armed with an in-depth understanding of the entire configuration process, your compliance team will be confident in their ability to create, revise, and administer their own onboarding journeys.

Furthermore, when updates and new feature modules are released for the platform, the training and support provided should enable your compliance team to fully utilise the new features and subsequently make future changes by themselves.

5- How much of the functionality shown in the demonstration is live?

All too often, product demonstrations include features and functionality that are still in beta testing or even not yet in development. So, ask how much of what you have been shown in the demo is actually in production?

Furthermore, if the vendor in question is relying on a roadmap, get them to spell out exactly which elements are working now, and which are yet to be implemented.

If certain features or functionality are yet to be deployed, ask for a timetable for their rollout and further proof that historically they have adhered to their promises.

6- How flexible is your solution?

In an ever-changing business landscape, any solution must be able to adapt in order to meet both existing and future challenges. Flexibility should be an important consideration when choosing any solution, so question the vendor about how easy it is to flex their tech.

If they are building it specifically for you and then set in stone, it might be difficult if not impossible to adapt in the future.

Press the vendor on how many journeys and risk models can you have, and if this figure can be adjusted to meet future needs?

7- How scalable is your solution?

With an eye on the future, any solution should be capable of scaling to meet growth targets and the introduction of new business, in a seamless and timely fashion.

Ask about their current roadmap and what can be expected in the near future? Furthermore, to gauge their ability to deliver on their promises, ask for evidence of how they’ve always been able to deliver on their roadmap in the past?

8- What are the timescales for implementation?

Sometimes there can be a disconnect between sales and the team entrusted with the actual implementation. As a consequence, this can result in having to wait a considerable length of time before the project gets underway,

In addition, over booked schedules and staff shortages could mean that the overall length of time that they take to implement the solution might take longer than you would like or even expect.

So, demand an agreed timetable that covers a definitive start date together with a predetermined length of time for the project to be completed to your full satisfaction.

9- Can you offer a workshop?

A workshop can be an informative and extremely illuminating experience. Any workshop worth its salt, will enable a tech vendor to demonstrate its understanding of the regulatory landscape, especially in respect to the sector you operate in.

You should, of course, be able to see the solution in action. But the vendor should also be able to demonstrate their ability to comprehend and map out your process onto the proposed solution and how they will go about the configuration process.

Not every vendor will be able to deliver such a comprehensive overview of how they operate. If not, ask them why not?

So, when considering partnering with an onboarding tech provider, consider these questions to help determine if it will be the solution you need, and not just the solution they can provide.