The KYC process (also known as the Know Your Customer process) is a set of due diligence processes utilized by Mews (and countless other companies) to assess the identity, suitability, and risks involved with maintaining a business and financial relationship with a client or organization.
- Know Your Customer (KYC) is the aforementioned process of undertaking the verification of customer's prior to engaging in any business/financial services.
- Anti-Money Laundering (AML) pertains to a set of laws, regulations, and procedures intended to prevent criminals from disguising illegally obtained funds as legitimate income.
- Ultimate Beneficial Owner (UBO) is the person or entity that is the ultimate beneficiary of an institution who initiates a transaction. A UBO of a legal entity is a party who holds an interest or controls a minimum 25% capital of the legal entity.
- Company Representative (CR) is a person who holds Power of Attorney for signing rights. In a nutshell he or she has the authority to bind the company and act on a client's behalf.
In addition to the assessment of maintaining a business and financial relationship with our clients, the KYC process is an important part in the Merchant verification process as most if not all a properties' payments are processed via Mews. It is important that all required documentation is provided in a timely manner as this can immensely slow down the Onboarding process.
The KYC process is assessed and broken down by our Risk Team into 5 different components all of which are equally important:
- Customer Verification Form / Cooperation Agreement
- Verification Of UBOs
- ID Verification Of Natural Person(s)
- Proof Of Address
- Bank Account Statement
- Other Internal Checks
Customer Verification Form
The Customer Verification Form (CVF) & Cooperation Agreement contains all the information required for the Risk Team to commence their assessment. As such all fields in the CVF must match the details in the companies' Business Registry Extract or Deed of Incorporation (depending on their region). Once this information is gathered by our Risk Team they will identify and match the entity's registered information in the properties' respective region. During this stage in the KYC process the following fields are reviewed:
- Registered company name
- Registration number
- Registered address
Verification Of UBOS
An imperative part of the process is understanding the ownership structure of the customer and identifying the Ultimate Beneficial Owners (UBOs) of an entity incorporated under the laws of the country concerned. This is very important in identifying which individual(s) exercise effective control over an entity or business. During this stage of the process the CVF must contain the following correct fields:
- Full Name
- Date of Birth
- Total % of shares/voting rights in the company
The accuracy of this information ensures that our Risk Team is able to cross-reference this information via the entity's' regional database or using the provided extract.
ID Verification Of Natural Person(s)
The Identity verification stage authenticates the person(s) that represent or exercise effective control over the entity and proves that the one is who he or she claims to be, preventing both a person from carrying out a process on our behalf without authorization, and creating false identities or commit fraud. In order to verify the particulars of each UBO/Company Representative Mews accepts the following Government-issued documentation:
- National identity card
- Driving license
In all cases, the documents must be non-expired and clearly legible.
Proof Of Address
Providing proof of address helps Mews prevent fraud by verifying the identity of Representatives or UBOs of an entity. When it comes to business or financial institutions, these measures are important in ensuring that identities remain safe and that all transactions are verified. In order for one to confirm their address, a Proof of Address document that corresponds to the residential address provided in the CVF will be required. This is why it is important to ensure that the CVF is filled with the correct information that matches ones' current registered address. The document(s) must meet the following criteria:
- A document showing the UBO/Representative's address or a utility bill from a well-known company.
- Documents must be uploaded in full color (i.e. no black-and-white scans)
- Documents must be clear and large enough to read
- Photocopies of identity documents are not acceptable
- Documents must be valid and not expired.
- Documents must be dated within the past six months
Bank Account Statement
A bank statement is required (not older than 3 months) in order to verify the bank account's existence as well as ownership. There are 3 key pieces of information required to ascertain this:
- Date of bank statement (not older than 3 months)
- Bank account number (Iban format is country utilizes this)
- Bank account holder name (must match customer name or entity's' registered name)
Please do note again that these details must match the information provided in the Customer Verification Form.
Other Internal Checks
In addition to the above requirements, additional checks are performed by our dedicated Risk Team. These are internal procedures that do not require any action or input from our clients.
For any additional information please do not hesitate to contact us at