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Creditinfo’s new tool allows to check the background of international business partners

8. Mar 2021

Creditinfo is the first company in Estonia to bring the shared KYC utility “Know your client“ on the market. It gathers the data an entrepreneur needs to know about clients and business partners from both Estonia and international reliable data bases covering the whole world.

According to the rules of the fight against money-laundering and financing of terrorism, each company is responsible for ensuring that every business transaction and cooperation agreement complies with the terms stated in the anti-money laundering law (the Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Financing of Terrorism Act). In essence, it is the duty to know your clients and business partners in case of both single transactions and longer business relationships.

“Every entrepreneur needs to check the background of the business partner because when the transaction reaches the bank, it may already be too late. The accounts may be arrested and you could end up losing the money,“ Jaanus Leemets, head of Creditinfo’s product development unit explained. “One questionable transaction, no matter how great or small sums are involved, may significantly increase the overall risk rating of the entrepreneur.“

The background check of companies and individuals operating in Estonia has been a widely available service for years, but checking the background of international partners has been a great challenge for small and medium-sized companies. Access to reliable international data bases is very expensive, and the offered solutions are often not suitable for checking single transactions or compiling detailed reports dividing the parties involved.

“When banks spend millions of euros a year on anti-money laundering background checks, it makes sense that most entrepreneurs do not have that kind of resources,“ Leemets explained. Yet the results of public search portals are often not reliable, extensive nor up-to-date enough in their content, especially with international, but frequently also domestic inquiries.

„Therefore we created a tool that makes inquiries from dozens of different reliable international data bases,“ Leemets described the substance of the new service. “The use of the new tool is affordable to small businesses and it is also simple to use for single inquiries.“

To get the entrepreneurs started, Creditinfo offers consultations on the correct implementation of the background check and its proficiency, and the option of joining the KYC business school in order to understand the essence of KYC regulations, the precise duties and everyday needs of their companies, and all available possibilities to regularly check the background of clients and business partners without spending too much time.