Corporate Spotlight – Smartsearch

Industry: AML Compliance

No of employees: 159

Who are they?

An all-in-one Anti-Money Laundering (AML), Fraud Prevention and Know Your Customer (KYC) platform which delivers JMLSG-compliant AML verification for individuals and businesses. The solution guarantees regulatory compliance by allowing clients to perform a wide range of AML & KYC checks, sanction & PEP screening, and ongoing monitoring.

Where did they come from?

SmartSearch was launched in West Yorkshire, in 2011. The team was responsible for creating one of the first electronic AML services, with the solution originally designed to deliver a standard AML verification service and a simple Sanction & PEP pass-or-fail check, the same as most other suppliers. At the time, regulatory bodies did not accept electronic identification as a viable alternative to documents such as passports or  driving licences, but now it is recognised as the most reliable, stipulated by the Fifth Money Laundering Directive.

SmartSearch has expanded, advanced, and developed their solution, allowing them to dominate the AML, KYC, and COD compliance sector. The company now has a large product portfolio with capabilities such as business and fraud checks and facial recognition technology.

What are they known for?

Customer experience. They are the chosen AML platform for thousands of regulated businesses, providing a user-0friendly and cost-competitive solution which is continually developed in response to client feedback and to the evolving AML landscape. The business currently has over 5,000 client firms and 50,000 users, including one in four of the top 200 law firms, one in 3 three of the top 100 accountancy practices and some of the largest property and financial networks.

SmartSearch is powered by best-of-breed data providers Experian, Equifax, Dow Jones, and Companies House, allowing them to deliver a high ‘match and pass’ rate.

It was won multiple awards, including the FT 1000 fastest growing businesses in Europe, and the Queen’s Award for Innovation.

What do they say?

Martin Cheek, managing director: “What we’ve seen since the outbreak of coronavirus over a year ago, is a huge increase in the level of financial crime such as money laundering, based on the use of more sophisticated false IDs and documents.

“This has made businesses in regulated sectors such as Financial Services, realise that traditional methods of ID verification when taking on new customers, such as manually going through passports and driving licences, are no longer fit for purpose.

“At the same time, the Financial Conduct Authority has been clear not only in its message that non-compliance with due diligence will be punished, but also that electronic verification is more accurate and efficient.

“This has driven a surge in demand for SmartSearch’s digital solution which is able to verify an individual’s identity within two seconds, running a full ID check across multiple global databases, including sanctions and PEP lists.

“It’s been a surge in growth for SmartSearch and we have a brilliant team here, to manage that, as more and more businesses realise the importance of switching to electronic verification to stay one step ahead of the money launderers and organised financial crime gangs.”

What do the customers say?

SmartSearch provided a solution that took away the administrative and timely burden of requiring potential clients to provide documentary evidence. Not only did it provide easy identity verification for individuals, but also a thorough breakdown of all necessary evidence for identifying companies, such as annual reports, certificate of incorporation and the AML of all influential stakeholders and directors. This far outshone the level of service we had previously received from the competitor.”    – Church House Investment

“We began using SmartSearch in early 2020 to comply with AML regulations. We have found SmartSearch to be a perfect fit for our compliance needs. We have the peace of mind that we are meeting AML regulations with the automatic ongoing screening and monitoring of our clients for PEP and Sanctions, which saves us a considerable amount of time.

The platform has been quick, reliable, straightforward to use and it has been invaluable in terms of enhancing the efficiency of our AML procedures.” – Eleven 2 Financial planning

Where can I find them?

T: 0113 238 7660    E: [email protected]    LinkedIn – @SmartSearch    Twitter – @SmartSearchUK

Mayfield House, Lower Railway Road Ilkley, Leeds, LS29 8FL


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