Just under a third (28%) of regulated businesses are unaware of digital anti-money laundering (AML) solutions, such as electronic verification (EV), according to SmartSearch.

The survey of 500 regulated firms in the UK found that 37% had not considered switching to an electronic platform to complete the mandatory AML checks.

Almost a quarter (23%) of regulated firms also claimed they were ‘highly confident’ they could spot a fake document.

These findings form part of SmartSearch’s electronic verification uncovered campaign, which is calling for all regulated businesses to switch to EV.

Almost three in 10 (28%) regulated businesses claimed that using hard copy documents was a more reliable method for establishing ID, but 48% had reported a rise in financial crime attempts in the past 12 months.

Martin Cheek, managing director of SmartSearch, said: “Looking at the flipside of the research, the majority of regulated businesses are aware of digital solutions, and this is encouraging.

“With the increase in fraudulent attempts, and the complexity of these fakes, using the best available technology to prevent money laundering is critical.

“Criminals will exploit any weakness in the chain, so we ideally need all regulated businesses embracing the most effective and efficient methods.

“Electronic verification works by using credit reference data, combined with other reliable sources, creating a unique ‘composite digital identity’ which is virtually impossible to fake.

“The best systems can complete a check in just two seconds.

“The Financial Conduct Authority has endorsed the use of electronic verification, and those looking to make the switch should not hesitate.”

Third of regulated businesses unaware of digital AML solutions