Customer Due Diligence:
What is CDD, AML, CFT & KYC?

Guide to understanding and implementing AML and Customer Due Diligence (CDD) legislation in finance, investment and property. Covers acronyms, software, workflows and templates.

Find out about due diligence software, creating workflows and building templates to get to know your customer.

But to start with we need an understanding of all the main elements of AML/CFT legislation. Let’s get to know the regulations implemented to try and stop criminals disguising their ill gotten gains?

The legislation is focused predominantly on banks, casinos, financial institutions, advisers, brokers, and some trust and company service providers.

Read on, as we give a quick break down the elements and associated acronyms.

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What is KYC

KYC stands for Know Your Customer or Know Your Client and refers to the process of verifying your customer is who they say they are, and establishing what their requirements are as a client.   

What is eKYC?

eKYC stands for Electronic Know Your Customer and refers to conducting the KYC process online, using software or platforms that enable the collection of data, forms and supporting documents.



It’s an ethical requirement in the financial and securities industry and ensures that companies and practitioners act in the best interest of the client by establishing their needs.  A basic profile of their knowledge of investment,their risk tolerance, and just where they are financially is the goal of the process.

If you’ve conducting KYC for financial purposes you would gather data like:  

  • Investment experience
  • Timeline for investment
  • Tax status
  • Risk Tolerance
  • Other investments
  • Liabilities
  • Dependents
  • Liquidity needs

If you’re conducting a basic level of KYC, at a personal level you would also need basic identification, contact and demographic data:

    • Date of birth
    • Employment status
    • Tax number
    • Annual income
    • Net worth
    • Address

If you’re conducting basic KYC in a business to business environment have a look at this KYC checklist from. It could be and easy way for you to implement the process.

What is CDD?

CDD stands for Customer Due Diligence  and refers to the process of conducting a due diligence review of your customers. 

CDD comes in three levels

  • Standard CDD – used for most situations where CDD is required. 
    Think of your standard customer
  • Simplified CDD – for use with specific customers that are considered low risk.
    Think of the Police, Navy, Government bodies and registered financial institutions.
  • Enhanced CDD, ECDD or EDD – which is used when there are factors creating a higher level of ML/TF risk. Your obligations to track more activities increase.  
    Think of international property and money transfer

Third Party Providers

Most companies use a third party provider to conduct Enhanced Customer Due Diligence during on-boarding. They help with independent research and validation of identity and Ultimate Beneficial Ownership. They can also provide platforms for the monitoring of transactions.

ECCD thresholds on monitoring and classifying of transactions vary by industry and country but cover: large cash transactions, cross border transactions and changes in payment sources.  

Companies like Accuity provide access to global data and databases that can validate identity and ultimate beneficial ownership of financial institutions  through their Bankers Almanac API .

What is a PEP?

PEPs stands for Politically Exposed People. 
PEPs are treated differently from a data and privacy perspective.
 There are three categories of PEPs.


Individuals who hold a function or a prominent public position in a government body domestically.


Think President, Prime Minister or Parliament. 


Individuals who hold a function or a prominent public position in a government body of a foreign country.  


Think Jacinda Ardern or Justin Trudeau.

International organisation

Are individuals who hold a prominent public position or function in an international organisation.


Think Musk, Yvon Chournard or  Christine Lagarde.

Due Diligence Software

The FileInvite platform provides an intuitive secure client portal to your clients. Take a trial and see how you can seamlessly collect forms, data and conduct due diligence around your customers and suppliers.  

  • Have customers sign and complete declarations using our e-signature platform.
  • Use our handy KYC templates and forms to establish identity and store supporting files that address your obligations around Knowing Your Client.
  • Store all this information securely for re-purposing via API.
Start Your Free Trial!
Instant 14-day access. No credit card required. 

P.S. Bonus round... What is KFC?


KFC stands for Kentucky Fried Chicken - prepared using eleven secret herbs and spices. So secret, you can find them on wikipedia.

You may want to visit KFC as a reward to yourself for expanding your KDD - knowledge of due diligence. 

Get to Know Your Chicken, add Avocado Mayo and Lettuce and finish with Extended Chocolate Double Dip ice cream.  👍.

NOTE: KFC, as far as our limited google search took us, is not related to AML/CFT in any way. Researching did make us hungry though. 😉

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