Concluding Another Roundtable Discussion On MAS Consultation Paper - Identity Verification



Our CEO and Co-Founder, Mr. Chionh Chye Kit was recently invited to speak at the panel session organised by the Regulatory and Compliance Sub-Committee of Blockchain Association Singapore (BAS), to share his views and thoughts for the recent Consultation Paper (CP) released by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on the topic - Identity Verification. This is followed by the informative panel discussion that Chye Kit had participated in to share his thoughts on the same Consultation Paper that was organised by RHTLaw Asia LLP last week. After concluding his first panel on 1st December, he has also finally concluded his second panel with BAS yesterday, along with the Founder & CEO of Ethikom Consultancy, Nizam Ismail and General Counsel of Upbit APAC, Azman Hamid.


In efforts to warm up the audiences, the panel kicked off with a poll directed to the audiences asking if they have gone through or experienced the process of e-KYC, with 98% of respondents voting yes. It was a pleasure to know that organisations are now starting to be more open to the idea of e-KYC as compared to years ago, where the idea of e-KYC wasn’t something that was well-practiced by many organisations. Right after the poll, the panelists proceeded to dive right into the CP by sharing their views and thoughts on the newly released Notice.


With the increasing cases of identity impersonation these days along with the advancement of technology, MAS has proposed a Notice to strengthen the level of authentication performed by Financial Institutions (FIs) in order to mitigate the number of identity thefts moving forward. As the Notice is directed more towards digital onboarding, the panelists all agreed that the onboarding process for digital platforms must be as robust and stringent as compared to face-to-face onboarding. Identity Verification is one of the very first steps in the entire Know-Your-Customer (KYC) process, and it extends throughout the life of a customer relationship. Therefore, it is both mandatory and important to conduct ongoing due diligence periodically to ensure that the customer is consistently who they say they are.


Being the CEO and Co-Founder of Cynopsis Solutions, Chye Kit was asked to share his views on having Identity Verification as a separate notice. During his sharing, he mentioned that the overarching needs for KYC and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) remain unchanged. Identity Verification should nott be looked at as a vertical of its own, instead it should be looked at in totality and be subsumed into the broader KYC guidelines and requirements, which the other panelists agreed to as well. After Chye Kit’s sharing, the panelists moved on to address the exempted entities under the Notice. All the panelists came to a consensus that the AML and Counter Terrorism Financing (CTF) obligations, should be applied to all entities operating within Singapore, and therefore, selected entities should not be exempted from the Notice. These entities are only exempted from licensing, but definitely should not be exempted from all stated requirements.


The panelists concluded the panel emphasizing that the Data Management Process is a crucial point to note in this whole onboarding process. When it comes to storing clients’ personal identifiable information (PII), we have to be mindful of where this information ends up in. Organisations are advised to abide by the Technology Risk Management (TRM) guidelines set out by MAS as well as the outsourcing guidelines if organisations are using a third party vendor such as Cynopsis Solutions.


E-KYC can be done seamlessly and it will be the way to go as organisations move along with technology. At Cynopsis Solutions, we have our flagship digital onboarding solution, ARES, that facilitates seamless non-face-to-face identity verification experience. As part of the global community of Partners who leverage Amazon Web Services (AWS) to build solutions and services for our clients, we ensure the standard of our information security systems is benchmarked against international industry best practices.


We had a great time at the webinar yesterday, and we certainly hope the audiences had an equally great time, and at the same time gained more insights from the panelists’ sharing. We would like to thank the Sub-Committee of BAS for organising this and we look forward to having more similar discussions in the future!



About Cynopsis Solutions

Founded in 2014 and headquartered in Singapore, Cynopsis Solutions offers RegTech solutions designed to digitise and automate Compliance and regulatory processes, in particular know-your-customer, anti-money laundering, and counter-terrorism financing. Cynopsis Solutions’ accolades include MAS FinTech Awards (2018), RegTech100 (2018, 2019) and Financial Times Top 50 High Growth Companies in Asia-Pacific.


Our end-to-end KYC/AML solutions are designed according to the global FATF recommendations, applicable to more than 180 jurisdictions and is already helping more than a thousand B2B customers in the Banking, Financial Services, FinTech and Cryptocurrency, Professional Services and Gaming sectors globally.


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