SmartSearch is launching what it calls the most comprehensive business-owner verification solution on the market.

The launch is designed to counter the spike in the number of scams involving fake businesses.

In addition, the RegTech specialist has expanded the number of countries where it can carry out a business check to 165.

SmartSearch expands senior team

It is also targeting regulated firms in the legal, banking and financial services sectors with the enhanced service.

Under the 5th EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive, Know Your Business (KYB) regulations requires firms to have an understanding of the ownership of any business they are entering into a commercial relationship with.

However, in 2020 there has been a dramatic increase in the number of fake businesses being created by organised crime gangs, in order to commit fraud.

With little ID verification required to create a business, SmartSearch said it is a wide-open back door that is being exploited by fraudsters.

The new system will cross-check the details given with multiple data sources including Companies House, Experian, Equifax and Dow Jones Politically Exposed Persons (PEP) and sanctions lists, to ensure the most accurate pass rate.

John Dobson, chief executive of SmartSearch said: “Regulated businesses in the UK not only need to be compliant with Know Your Customer legislation but also KYB.

“Otherwise they are seriously exposed to fraud and also to financial penalties from the Financial Conduct Authority.

“The expansion of our global database will cement our position as the most comprehensive anti-money laundering and ID check system on the market.

We partner with the world’s best data suppliers to provide a ‘one-stop-shop’ for anti-money laundering checks which means SmartSearch has the most robust verification for KYB on the market.

“It makes sense to do a SmartSearch as you can validate the identity of a business and its directors in less than three minutes.

“That means it takes about the same time to do a SmartSearch as it does to make a cup of tea, and it will not only protect your business from fraud, but also ensure you’re compliant with current regulations.

“With SmartSearch solutions available via a web browser or API connections, businesses can be up and running and operational within 24 hours.”