Know Your Customer (KYC): What is KYC & the process behind it

Understanding what KYC is and the information you may be required to provide when signing up to financial services can help you prepare for and speed up the application process.

What is KYC?

Know Your Customer, often referred to as KYC, is a process that customers will need to go through to identify themselves when applying to some businesses or services. KYC is widely implemented by financial institutions as they have a duty to comply with anti-money laundering laws. KYC helps businesses to identify their customers, their financial activities, and whether they pose a risk or are acting fraudulently. KYC checks are a mandatory requirement for some services, and companies can be fined if they aren’t complying with the most recent regulations.

Every customer applying for a UK Postbox account will have to go through this process, and we will not register your account until your identity has been verified.
Learn more about our identity verification process
Basic & Enhanced Identity Verification

KYC process & what to expect

The goal of KYC is to identify individuals and businesses to ensure they are who they say they are, and that no fraudulent activity is taking place. The information you may be asked to provide will depend on what you’re signing up for, and whether it’s for personal or business use. In most cases, you’ll need to provide the following as a minimum: 

  1. Full name.
  2. Date of birth.
  3. Residential or business address.
  4. Photographic identification.
  5. Selfie of the person applying.

Depending on the service provider and the documentation available to you, there will be several options available for accepted identification, such as a passport, driving licence, identity card, utility bills, banking statements, credit card statements and asset deeds. 

Please be aware that you may be required to provide further information if your identity cannot be verified from these documents alone. Many institutions that follow KYC processes will match your uploaded documents to known records from a central database. This helps to calculate the risk of applications by matching them to known fraudulent activities and information.

Some services may require that you provide additional information, such as if you’re registering on behalf of a limited company or corporation. In these instances, you may need to provide additional documentation such as, but not limited to:

  1. Tax numbers and information
  2. Proof of residential address via official correspondence
  3. Proof of business address via official correspondence

Ultimately, the process may vary depending on the service you’re signing up for, whether you’re signing up as an individual or a business, and if your identity can be verified without manual intervention. However, no matter which KYC process you find yourself going through, the goal is the same; to verify your identity and prevent those with fraudulent intentions accessing a service they intend to abuse.

UK Postbox & KYC - identity verification

Our service is used by individuals and businesses across the world who require mail management, UK address registration and additional services such as banking, dropshipping and international parcel forwarding. Our services handle private and confidential information every day, and the illicit use of mail and addresses in the UK can contribute to fraudulent activity across the world. It is our duty as a service provider to implement the necessary checks and practices to ensure users aren’t accessing our service for fraudulent means.


We have a legal responsibility to follow the anti-money laundering regulations outlined by the London Local Authorities Act 2007 (section 75) and the Money Laundering Regulations Act 2007. To ensure that we remain diligent, we follow strict KYC processes as set out by regulatory bodies, industry policies and our own internal procedures.

All customer information and identification provided will be processed and handled in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)


Basic & advanced identity verification

To ensure that we’re effectively screening customers for all of the services we provide, we’ve introduced a basic and enhanced verification process. Depending on who you are and the service you’re signing up for, you’ll be required to complete one of two verification methods:

Automatic identity verification

We’ve introduced an automatic identity verification method for anyone going through our basic process, and we’ll have an automated service for our enhanced users soon. This system will match your uploaded documents with a known database and verify who you are, the information you’ve submitted, and whether there is any risk associated with your profile. If your identity cannot be verified via this method, you’ll need to speak to a member of our team before your account can be created.


We understand that it may be difficult to obtain the necessary documents depending on where you live and what’s available to you. Our dedicated verification team is on-hand to answer any questions and guide you through this process; just let us know how we can help.

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Allan Chester
July 9, 2020
Explainers
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