by 5paisa Research Team Last Updated: 2023-09-12T16:56:46+05:30
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KYC full form stands for Know Your Customer, and it is an important process for any financial institution. Businesses must comply with KYC regulations to verify their customers' identities and backgrounds. This process is designed to help combat financial crime, money laundering, and terrorist financing. This guide will cover the details you need to know about KYC meaning, including why it is important and how businesses can comply with the requirements. 

With this information, you’ll understand why KYC matters and how it works for your business. So let's dive into understanding the complete guide to KYC!

What is KYC?

According to KYC meaning, KYC is a process of verifying the identity of customers as well as assessing potential risks associated with them. Banks and financial institutions generally use this process to ensure customer identification and detect any suspicious activities or money laundering attempts. KYC also helps organizations meet their legal obligations related to Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Counter Terrorist Financing (CTF). 

The KYC process typically involves gathering information about customers, such as name, address, contact details, date of birth, source of funds, etc., thus helping the bank understand the customer’s background. You must also understand what is KYC in bank, which is ensuring that all customers present valid documents and information to the bank. This helps ensure the customer’s identity and protects the bank from potential financial crimes.

What is the KYC process?

The KYC process involves verifying the identity of customers and assessing their suitability to access certain financial services. The KYC process aims to help prevent financial crimes like money laundering, terrorist financing, and fraud.

Organizations must collect certain identifying information from their customers to properly execute a KYC process, including name, address, date of birth, and other relevant details. This information is verified using reliable sources such as government-issued IDs or third-party databases. Organizations may also need to conduct additional checks for high-risk clients depending on their specific services and risk assessment policies.

Why is the KYC process important?

The KYC (Know Your Customer) process is important to financial compliance. It helps businesses identify customers and mitigate risk. The KYC process ensures that companies adhere to Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations and countering the financing of terrorism laws. It also allows companies to understand their customers better, helping them build trust and foster lasting relationships. 

By clearly understanding who their customers are, companies can reduce fraud and detect any suspicious activity more quickly. Ultimately, this helps businesses ensure that they are operating safely and competently.

What is KYC Compliance?

KYC (know your customer) compliance is a set of regulations designed to ensure that financial institutions and other businesses identify and verify the identity of their customers. KYC compliance aims to help combat & other financial crimes by requiring businesses to collect, maintain and update certain customer information. This helps create greater transparency in the financial system and allows businesses to detect suspicious transactions more easily. 

KYC compliance is an important part of the global effort to protect against criminal activity in the financial sector.

Types Of KYC

1. Biometric-based KYC

Biometric-based KYC, also known as "Know Your Customer" (KYC), requires customers to provide biometric data including fingerprints or facial recognition for verifying their identity. It is an important step for organizations to ensure that they conduct business with legitimate customers and prevent fraudulent activities. Biometric-based KYC serves as an effective tool to combat terrorist financing, money laundering and other financial crimes. 

The use of biometrics has become increasingly popular due to its accuracy, convenience, and cost-effectiveness compared to traditional identification methods like IDs or passports. Additionally, biometrics provides better security for customer information since it cannot be easily duplicated or stolen.

2. Aadhaar OTP-based KYC

Aadhaar OTP-based KYC (Know Your Customer) is an authentication process used by businesses to verify the identity and credentials of their customers. It involves entering your 12-digit Aadhaar number, receiving a One Time Password (OTP) on your registered mobile phone, and using it to provide access to services such as bank accounts, SIM cards, and more. 

This KYC process helps ensure that only genuine individuals can avail of the services and prevents identity theft. It is a quick, secure, and cost-effective way for companies to authenticate individuals without going through paper documentation. To use this service, you should have an active Aadhaar card with a valid mobile number linked to it.

3. Video-based KYC

Video-based KYC (Know Your Customer) is a process used to authenticate the identity of customers using remote video technology. This type of authentication is especially useful for businesses with clients worldwide, as it allows them to quickly and securely verify their customer's identity without requiring in-person meetings. With this method, customers can record themselves on camera showing their ID documents, such as a passport or driver's license, and then upload that video to the company’s servers for verification. 

Video-based KYC eliminates much of the hassle associated with traditional KYC processes, often involving manual paperwork and long wait times for document validation.

What Is KYC in the Banking Sector?

Know Your Customer (KYC) is an important process in the banking sector that involves verifying a customer's identity before providing them with financial services. Banks and other financial institutions use KYC to ensure they are not involved with illegal activities, such as money laundering or financing terrorism. The process typically includes collecting customer information, such as their name, address, and date of birth, and verifying documents like identity cards or passports. 

In some cases, extra information may be required, such as the source of funds or proof of residence. By obtaining this information beforehand, banks can prevent any fraudulent activity from taking place on their accounts. This helps keep both customers and banks safe by allowing only legal transactions. Additionally, it also helps them to comply with various regulations and laws.

What Is Online KYC Verification?

Online KYC verification is a process of verifying an individual's identity through digital means. This verification usually involves collecting, storing, and validating personal information like name, date of birth, address, phone number, and other forms of identification. The information is collected with the help of documents like a passport, driver’s license, or national identity card. The data is then verified against different databases to ensure the provided information is authentic and accurate.

What Is Offline KYC Verification?

Offline KYC verification is a process of verifying the identity of an individual or entity using offline methods, such as physical documents. This method is typically used in cases where online methods are not available or efficient for identity authentication. Customers' personal information and documents are collected and verified during the process to ensure accuracy and validity. The information collected may include a government-issued ID, utility bill, passport, or other documents proving identity.

Proof of KYC Documents for Companies and Other Legal Structures

Proof of KYC documents is an important step in setting up a business or other legal structure. Companies must provide evidence of their identity and address and any applicable licenses and permits to demonstrate that they are legitimate entities operating within the law. This is done by submitting documents such as passports, driver's licenses, utility bills, bank statements, and other documents to verify identity and address.

Companies may also need to provide financial information, such as a balance sheet or income statement. Companies need to have up-to-date documentation to remain compliant with the laws and regulations governing their industry.


KYC is an important process for companies to adhere to to ensure that they conduct business compliant and responsibly. By taking the time to understand the different types of KYC procedures and the associated risks and implications of not meeting those standards, businesses can protect themselves from potential legal or financial repercussions further down the line. 

KYC is necessary for conducting business today and should not be taken lightly. Understanding and implementing an effective KYC process can help businesses protect their reputation, customers, and overall financial stability.

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