API – An Insight into Data-Sharing in the 21st Century

API

Application Programme Interface, or as most know it, API, has revolutionised the way the world operates and has provided efficiency beyond belief. The inherit design of this application software acts as the backbone of modern connectivity, providing and utilising efficiency, reliability and speed. API provides alternative means to achieve outcomes, meet demands and diversifies the way Business-to-Business (B2B) operations are carried out. Astonishingly, according to TechCrunch, Salesforce generates 50% of its revenue via API, eBay nearly 60% and Expedia an unrivalled 90%. This relatively new concept, a technological marvel, has gone further than most would have imagined. It is important to understand the principles and benefits of APIs and what they can, or already do for your company.

The What
API, on the surface, is complex software with a lot of technical jargon attached to the matter. However, after understanding the practicalities and the fundamentals of Application Programme Interfaces, it becomes more evident what they intend in doing.  In layman’s terms, APIs allow one piece of software to make use of the functionality or data of another. API functionality’s main purpose revolves around B2B activity. This machine to machine interface can transfer data, in real time, and provide an array of instant possibilities and efficiencies. Importantly, APIs help create seamless networks in order to improve value transfer with suppliers/vendors, clients, partners and employees.

Incredibly, since this innovation become available in 2005, the last 14 years has shown an astonishing rise in usage, illustrating how necessary and important the day-to-day use of APIs are. Below is a table of the growth of Web APIs submitted to the ProgrammableWeb directory from 2005-2018.

API Growth

The Benefits
APIs have the functional capacity to perform a multitude of tasks that can be utilised from business to business. From sharing data and processes to real-time results, APIs are a heavily relied upon software. In a nutshell, an API can help create seamless networks that improve value transfer with clients, suppliers and more. Additionally, some core benefits are:

  1. Ease of Access – In order to provide the best customer service you want to make life as easy as possible for your clients. Well, APIs can enhance the user experience and save time making your customers jump through hoops of login forms, order forms and alike. If an API is set up for your end user, integrated into their application, you are essentially removing any barriers from them using your service. This may just generate a long-term client and a happy one at that.
  2. Innovative – In some cases it is possible for API providers to incorporate functionality that end-users have adopted and extended themselves. Through traditional web applications and user experience you have pre-determined how your service is to be used. However, via API, flexibility and innovation may open up a variety of other means for your users to engage in. This could create whole new industries and verticals that you could service.
  3. On-Demand – The real-time applications of APIs provide a platform in which your users can utilise the most efficient of services. An automation of requests and responses will eradicate any roadblocks in traditional service. Your business will be digitalised and primed to scale with the functionalities that an API has to offer.
  4. Customer Analytics – Streamlining a focus on services you provide can allow your company to more directly analyse and enhance to better suit your users. User experience may depend on how the users interact with applications and time may be overspent scrutinising these fine details, rather than working on the actual services that you provide. Streamlining your focus would enable you to understand exactly what your customer’s want, allowing you to better plan your business’s strategic road map.

Cedar Rose’s Availability
Cedar Rose has always taken pride in being one of the most innovative and up-to-date companies in its field. Thus, we heavily endorse the use of APIs to provide a bespoke service to our clients on a daily basis. As we offer data all around the world to a wide array of clients at all hours of the day, we need to make sure that we have accessible services for the greater benefit of everyone. Henceforward, we have enhanced our API capabilities to allow for instant services for credit reporting, risk assessments, due diligence and electronic identity verification. We believe that our customers deserve the best, and when you need critical data for urgent decision-making matters, we can provide you with the relevant data-transfer in a fast, streamlined and secure approach.

Visit www.cedar-rose.com today to see how we can help you.

Written By Jack Evangelides, Marketing Assistant

*** The sole purpose of the article above is to generate public discussion, it has no intention to constitute legal advice. ***

Math, Artificial Intelligence and Data – A Whole New World

Math - Machine Learning

Traditionally, a love for math used to be associated with someone you would call a ‘nerd’, however, technologically revelations have proven math to be a fundamental concept in the 21st century. In our data-driven world, companies and corporations are all using math, formulas and computations to ensure optimal efficiency. Without the use of math, there would no artificial intelligence (AI) and no computer science, we would be stuck in a world of slower and more mistake-prone business. Math, AI and automation provide solutions to time-consuming and complex problems where humans would be much less efficient in resolving. So what is the connection between math and AI?

How and where is Math used in Artificial Intelligence?  
Some of the fundamental topics that math holds for machine learning are:

  • Linear Algebra
  • Calculus
  • Probability
  • Optimisation
    • Heuristics
    • Iterative Methods

These areas of math each contain a multitude of further, and much needed, topics to fully understand machine learning. We may not realise, but every day we face examples of AI where math has contributed highly towards. From the most menial of examples such as sending certain emails to spam or, on the other end of the spectrum, self-driving cars, AI and machine learning is all around us.

“The need for remedial math seems widespread enough that even a simple Google search for ‘calculus and artificial intelligence’ turns up a bunch of blogs and additional courses on how to understand the math underlying these assignments.” Forbes, 2019

Math - AI - Data

A few years ago, Apple’s Siri and Tesla’s self-driving cars were something unthinkable or impossible to have. Today, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence are unlocking capabilities everywhere around the world; businesses are learning to use new technologies to create intelligent products, personalised experiences, and smarter business functions. What are some examples of artificial intelligence in business?

Business AI
The world is becoming faster, smarter, more complex and more efficient, and we owe a big part of this to artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities, which all derives from math. Let’s have a look into the everyday AI applications that is commonplace for businesses:

  1. Spam filters,
  2. Personal Assistants (Siri/Cortana/Google),
  3. Automated online chat responses,
  4. Automated insights – used from collated data from a company
  5. Smart searches – according to an individual’s history
  6. Product recommendations,
  7. Fraud detection,
  8. Personalised news feeds,
  9. Language recognition,
  10. Ad targeting.

These are only a few applications of AI that we experience in our day-to-day routines. The evolution and application of math to AI has been an incredible phenomenon and it continues to enhance every day. So the main question is:

Are you using Machine Learning or Artificial Intelligence to add value to your business?

Here at Cedar Rose we have used both Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence to help us process, translate, transliterate, organise, standardise and analyse large amounts of data. It is our love of mathematics, our close attention to detail and our drive to be the best that keep us ahead of the game.
Finally, for Nerds everywhere now is our time to shine!

Have you seen our latest article on fraud?

Written By Angelique Assaf, Data Strategist

Sourced Image: Freepik

 

*** The sole purpose of the article above is to generate public discussion, it has no intention to constitute legal advice. ***

Guide to doing Business in the Middle East – Tips, Tricks and More

guide to MENA

Cedar Rose has been active in the Middle East now for over 20 years, instigating business, gathering data and setting-up one of our offices in Lebanon. This article aims to provide an in-depth guide of how you can enact business in the same region. The Middle East is a vast region which has been, in recent years, both highly prosperous and sometimes unpredictably risky, but opportunities abound for those prepared with the right information. More and more companies each day are looking to this region for new business. However, it is not advisable to dive in without knowing how deep the water is. It is important to learn the facts, to understand the issues that can arise and to be prepared.

Let’s get down to business
It is no secret that extracting data and information from the Middle East is no easy task – there is a widespread culture of privacy. From factors such as decentralised data sources, free zone jurisdictions, language obstacles and a lack of advanced technology; there are hefty barriers that need to be worked around in order to have access to the right kind of information and statistical data to be successful in the region. Although the Middle East is a developing and dynamic hub for investments, it necessary to prepare yourself with the right knowledge that can optimise your decision-making for the better. This region has always attracted foreign business – partly due to low taxation – and relies heavily on imports because of a lack of diversity in local raw materials. So, opportunities abound, but what do you need to know to instigate business within the Middle East? Follow this step-by-step guide that may help you mitigate risks.

1. Know the Country

The Middle East spans over numerous territories and nations collectively. These countries, in order of population size, traditionally include Egypt, Iran, Turkey, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Syria, Jordan, United Arab Emirates, Israel, Lebanon, Palestine, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain. In some definitions, the small island of Cyprus is also included. The political situation within the region can be volatile and there are often extreme tensions, if not wars between one or more countries, civil wars between factions or formidable tribal disagreements as well as equally strong alliances. It may be wise to have a guide with you whilst you navigate around a country, to help you get to where you need to be. Judging the region as a whole is naïve as there are vast differences between economies and infrastructure, as well as GDP from country to country. Qatar, for example, has a GDP per capita in advance of $70,000 whereas in Yemen it is less than $600, so studying the particular market of interest is wise.

2. Know the Language

The Middle East is, perhaps, the most linguistically diverse region on the planet with more than 60 languages spoken, some of which include Arabic, Greek, Turkish, Hebrew and Kurdish. Therefore, instigating business may raise language barriers which would require expert translators in order to mitigate the risk of misinformation. However, language barriers shouldn’t stop you from a great potential business opportunity, so it would be wise to do your due diligence on the area you wish to enact business and find solutions to any potential language restrictions. Overall, English and/or French are widely spoken as second languages by locals within most countries of the Middle East and due to the large population of foreign nationals working and residing in the region; English has become widely accepted as the predominant business language. Arabic is widely spoken, but the dialects vary enormously from country to country so whilst the written language is the same, the spoken language may be difficult to understand, between one country and another.

3. Know the Technology

Depending on where your company originates from, there is a high possibility that there will be technological differences. Although the Middle East has recently seen a technological uproar, there are many nations in the region that still lack ‘common’ technologies. Whether it is automated border control systems on entry of a country or the requirement for manual submissions (in person) of tax documentation, it is important to understand what to expect. Not all countries in the region have VoIP, fast, reliable internet or even 24 hour electricity, whilst others are leaps ahead.Limitations in technology can halt business and be a major blockade for any success; therefore, it is important to assess the situation before diving in.

4. Know the Culture

Cultural differences may be a big factor in whether you land that deal, merge with that company or complete that agreement that you so desperately need. For example, understanding the difference in working weeks, it’s common for western countries to work a traditional Monday-Friday, 9am – 5pm. However, this is usually not the case for the Middle East, so it is necessary for communication and transparency to understand your client’s working culture. Many companies in the region do not work Friday or Saturday, but they do work on Sundays. Others may close for lunch from 1pm to 3pm or have different summer and winter hours. Many government departments do not open at all in the afternoons.

Additionally, religion plays a big part in this region with certain holidays or customs that different nations respect; it will be beneficial to pre-emptively know what these are so you do not get caught up in confusion. Communication is one of the biggest factors in business, having strong connections and transparency can help with business. However, customs may vary in the Middle East, from greetings to hospitality expectations, understanding this may help your business perform better in certain regions. Face-to-face visits require a lot more preparation in order to successfully navigate your business in the Middle East; moreover, visits ‘in person’ are highly appreciated throughout this region.

5. Know the Corruption Landscape

Corruption exists in all countries in some form or other, but you only need to glance at the map on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index to see that the Middle East has a very high perceived level of corruption. Corrupt practices are commonplace in many countries and it is wise to use a reputable and highly recommended accountant and auditor to help keep your company on the right side of the law when conducting day to day business. So as not to tarnish your company’s reputation by trading or partnering with known or perceived offenders – and these may well be accountants, lawyers, highly successful business people or government officials – it is always wise to conduct reputational due diligence.

Regional Experts – Cedar Rose
In order to utilise what the Middle East has to offer it is smart to use a company that has experience within the region and the know-how that can generate opportunities and guide your business to success.

Cedar Rose has been in operation in the Middle East for over 20 years, established originally in the UK and now residing in Cyprus and Lebanon and can guide you to success. Whether you need company credit reports or more in-depth due diligence or reputational investigations, Cedar Rose can provide high quality data and reports that can help you instigate business. Our experience and knowledge will help you mitigate risks within the region and our “boots on the ground” approach can guide you in the right direction.

The Middle East offers a myriad of opportunities for great business, but it may require stepping out of your comfort zone to a complete new region and culture.

Check out www.cedar-rose.com today and see how you can utilise our services for the Middle East or give us a call on +357 25 346630 to discuss your particular requirements.

Enjoy our guide? Why not have a look at the importance of company credit reports 

Written By Jack Evangelides, Marketing Assistant

 

*** The sole purpose of the article above is to generate public discussion, it has no intention to constitute legal advice. ***

Data Reliability – Is the data in my credit report up-to-date?

Data Reliability

The reliability and freshness of the data contained within is of fundamental importance when investing in a business credit report, especially if you are buying in bulk through a package or subscription.
However, there are fundamental differences between the availability of commercial data in the developed world and that in developing countries, so it is wise to ensure you are aware of potential pitfalls when purchasing international reports.

The composition of a robust business credit reports relies on five overriding factors:

Firstly, the origin of the basic  registration and activity data, for example: whether it has   been extracted from official sources or collated from other less reliable  sources  such as business directories, social media  or the subject’s website. Not every country has commercial registration data available online and if it is online it may be in the local language and may not be free of charge to access.

Secondly, the date the data was last updated is crucial. Whether it has been updated within 24 months, six months or was a fresh investigation will make a huge difference. It is advisable for the data to be as updated as possible, especially when you’re dealing with extending large amounts  of  credit;  but  registry  information  is usually only updated annually or even less frequently in many countries.

Financial statements add great depth of knowledge to a credit report but these are not available in several countries, simply because filing of accounts is not a legal requirement. In any case, it should always be noted that accounts, even if available, are merely an assessment of the previous year or quarter.

The next important factor is perhaps surprisingly the original language of the data. Misinterpretation    or    incorrect    translation of crucial information can lead to errors in correct identification of a company, or overlook important links to other companies, directors or shareholders because of mistranslation that may affect the overall risk analysis. Correct matching of international standards such as activity codes (UKSIC/NACE) or International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) is essential for the data to be transferred automatically into various formats around the globe – especially important if receiving credit reports via API or CRM (system to system applications).

Lastly, an informed and accurate credit opinion is a key factor which relies on all of the above.

Consequently, due to the variety of factors that a reliable automated instantly available credit report should contain, we must recognise the differences in the developed world with data availability from developing countries.

MIDDLE EAST
In the Middle East as well as other regions there are strict limitations on non-publicly available information that can be lawfully obtained. One of the more serious barriers to data accessibility is the practice of offshore registration and free- zone entities. The latter concept is evident in the Middle East, and, more specifically, the United Arab Emirates (UAE). When a company registers with free-zone authorities, they may well be seeking the higher degree of secrecy that these zones can offer. Through legal protection of ownership rights, free-zone jurisdictions uphold strict limitations increasing the difficulty to draw data on these companies. Free zones offer complete confidentiality, where beneficial owners are offered anonymity and guaranteed no disclosure of Ultimate Beneficial Owner (UBO) to local authorities. The UAE contains over 100 free trade zones, each with their own laws and jurisdictions. Free-zone companies, in this respect, parallel with offshore companies, especially in the sense that they are not subject to federal commercial law and are considered outside the country’s jurisdiction.

There are other obstacles too. In Egypt, for example – home to around 100 million people and reportedly one of the fastest growing economies in the Middle East company registration data is still held on hand written paper registers or in PDF files; not even digitised let alone structured, so bringing this data online is a slow and laborious process. Obtaining copies of corporate records involves sending someone in person to find and photograph the correct page, so knowing the commercial register number or the date of incorporation in advance is mandatory.

OVER EXPECTATIONS
Automated data has revolutionised the business intelligence scene, providing fast, efficient and reliable data at the click of a button. However, have we taken for granted the efficiency of automated data in the developed world? Do our over-expectations of this automated data blind side us to the harsh realities in developing countries?

Automated data throughout the developed world allows companies to make practical assessments of companies in a timely manner. Company registration data may be instantly updated via data feeds or system applications (APIs), so if the registered address, company directors, shareholders, activities, legal status or financial status change this will automatically update in your credit report download, subscription or credit file. There is also a culture of information sharing through trade references and filing of financial statements, as well as easy open access to mortgage charges and insolvencies.

So how does automated data in the developing countries compare? The scoring system is based from 0-100 and takes into account all available data from official sources according to OpenCorporates which is tackling the excruciatingly difficult task of bringing company registration data for the whole world online. Data fields that generate these scores include: freely searchable, freely available, director’s information, accounts information, shareholder information and licensing (open or not). We can take the first comparison, between the UK and the UAE, and assess that the UK – through Companies House – provides much more access to company data from official or free sources than the UAE. This is due to many reasons including the free-zone entities, but also a regional and historical culture of privacy. We must remember also, that the UAE in its current form is not yet 50 years old and while technology is advanced, bureaucratic processes are still lagging behind the UK and financial filing is only required for publicly listed companies.

Commonly throughout the Middle East commercial registration data is not centralised, not structured and often only available on official sites in Arabic or the local language.

Data Graph

THE WAY FORWARD
At present, until more data is made available   to credit reference agencies automatically and instantly worldwide, a freshly investigated credit report should always be the best route way to receive the most up-to-date and reliable information.

Yet when you conduct business with developing countries there are some extra measures that may need to be taken. It is important to use an experienced credit agency that understands the region and has the expertise to acquire and translate data from the correct sources. If using a local agency, ensure they divulge the date of the data fields provided. When relying on automated credit risk scores, be confident that there is enough information provided in the report for an assessment to be accurate or ask your credit reference agency which quantitative and qualitative factors they use in their risk analysis to be sure they provide accurate scoring.

While there are still vast differences in the way data is collected, there are also innovative companies that are leaps ahead of the local governments making the best use of technology and working extremely hard to close the information gap to bring the world’s credit data online.

This article was published by CICM in their Credit Management Magazine. 

Head on over to our newsroom for more invigorating articles. 

Written By Christina Massaad, Managing Director

Sourced Image: CICM

*** The sole purpose of the article above is to generate public discussion, it has no intention to constitute legal advice. ***

Quality of Data – The Problems with Mismanagement

Quality of Data

Data is used in our everyday lives, whether we know it or not, we are part of the process. Every message we send, every video we watch or every photo we upload online; it is all part of a process in which data is being transferred and stored. However, data is by no means limited to our social lives. For every company, with every email or service provided; there will be a big part that data plays. So what are the risks of poor quality data? Well in your social life they are quite minor in comparison to the business world. To err is human, thus, some repercussions of data mismanagement may have disastrous effects. Data entry jobs are rising with the amount of data transference and management in the current age we live in, which therefore creates more poor quality data. But, of course, to combat poor data there are also data quality analysts who essentially check and ‘clean’ poor data. There have been many cases of poor quality data that have had major effects. From cutting the supply of products to certain countries to incorrect payments of invoices, data mismanagement causes disruptions day-to-day.

Data Mismanagement
The amount of data is increasing day-by-day and, as expected, there will be mistakes. Despite peoples best efforts to manage data, to clean data and do ensure its quality, there are still plenty of mishaps that may have unfortunate consequences. Data needs to be:

  • Accurate
  • Relevant
  • Complete
  • Understandable

Without these four concepts, your data will be at risk of costly mistakes. According to the 2019 Global Data Management Benchmark Report, the main causes of current customer/prospect data inaccuracy are:

  1. Human Error – This accounts for 50% of mistakes.
  2. Too many Data Sources – 39%.
  3. Lack of Dep. Comms – 31%.
  4. Inadequate Data Strategy – 30%.
  5. Current Relevant Tech – 26%.

According to this report from Experian, these are the 5 biggest contributors to a lack of data accuracy in 2018. In 2016, research found that poor data cost the US economy alone $3.1 trillion. Furthermore, it is estimated that Data Analysts waste 50% of their time correcting mistakes and cleaning data from sources they don’t trust. Big-data companies, every day, work to analyse and improve operations; however, with the repercussions of poor quality data, the possibilities of utilising it are bleak. The risks do not stop at big-data companies, wherein organisations believe, on average, that 29% of their current customer/prospect data is inaccurate, enforcing this lack of trust and time-wasting efforts.

It is evident that data mismanagement is a problem that has risen parallel to the growth of technology, yet this has also paved the way forward for newer day-to-day issues throughout the business landscape.

 The Difficulty of Data
Furthermore, in addition to poor quality data, there are certain procedures that can make it difficult to attain the necessary data for you or your company. For example, within the Middle East, especially the U.A.E, there is a huge free-zone company presence, adhering to alternative jurisdictions other than the situated company. This has created major issues for many businesses across the globe, the difficulty of drawing data, verifying clients and verifying compliance. Free-zone jurisdictions prove to be some of the most difficult access points to attain information from and require a team of dedicated and experienced professionals to gather the correct data, similar to offshore jurisdictions in other countries.

Thus, data mismanagement is also aligned with data-barricades such as those from free-zone companies. Within the credit industry there have been many examples of where data from particular regions, especially the Middle East, has been difficult to source. The issue of free-zone restrictions may prove to be highly problematic for you and your company. It is important that, when dealing with scarce data, you either research or hire (preferably) a dedicated team who have the know-how and expertise to excavate the data that you wish to find. If not, you may end up with wrong data and this may have fundamental drawbacks on your business and your reputation. Data is such a fragile concept that even registries and local authorities, who hold public data, can often make mistakes in their data entries, especially where translation is involved at the point of registration.

Data Experts – Cedar Rose
With over 20 years of experience, Cedar Rose has learned the required techniques to know how to produce high quality, correctly translated and source graded data. Data, on the surface, is the same for everyone, yet when correctly and expertly managed, data can be utilised in many ways. It can be used for analytical reasons; it can be sold to those who do not have the resources or experience to collect data and many other ways that it can be utilised. Additionally, Cedar Rose has been in operation within the hardest of regions, the Middle East and North Africa, across all of our years of experience. Our teams have learnt the necessary procedures of how to gather data, how to organise it and how to present it to our clients in standard, internationally acceptable formats to become the highest quality necessary.

Cedar Rose effectively has data on over 12 million companies and 23 million individuals, translated and transliterated for our client’s best interests. Everything we have and more is available on our database and accessible from one single access point. Data we hold can be viewed and downloaded, and fresh investigations can be ordered via our database, CRiS. We offer 5 different levels of subscriptions to CRiS, in which you can access, analyse and utilise. The highest level – Directorship & Shareholding – includes full link analysis within our database, which displays different connections between companies and individuals, this exclusive feature can help your company strategically plan and assess for the future as well as tracing ultimate beneficiary owners (UBOs).

Contact nicole.konstantinou@cedar-rose.com to arrange your free trial of the CRiS database today.

Data can be utilised in numerous ways, read up on our article concerning data-driven sales.

Written By Jack Evangelides, Marketing Assistant

Sourced Image: Freepik

*** The sole purpose of the article above is to generate public discussion, it has no intention to constitute legal advice. ***

Compliance is Key: The Dangers of Non-Compliance

Know Your Customer (KYC) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance have drastically changed the way the world conducts business, for the better. KYC is the process of fully verifying the identity of your clients and with this you are able to secure your business dealings by trading only with legally registered entities. Consequently, compliance with AML is essential in order to prohibit the practice of generating income via illegal methods. Action is generally taken by contracting experts to conduct meticulous due diligence investigations when institutions issue credit or open accounts for customers. This ensures that you know your customer and, consequently, mitigates the risks of on-boarding clientele that may be laundering money or already sanctioned.

Non-Compliance
The consequences of not conforming and complying with KYC and AML procedures can be detrimental on a business. The policies are rightly taken very seriously, thus, compliance is a necessity. There have been a multitude of cases where businesses have failed to comply and they have suffered the consequences. Over the last 10 years there have been fines of over $25 billion for non-compliance with AML and KYC regulations.  

Compliance Chart

 

The US is held accountable for an estimate of 44% of all AML/KYC fines, however their fines total a staggering 91% of the global fines issued indicating extremely strict enforcement. Currently, the Middle East has the fewest financial reinforcements of all regions but is by no means unaffected or unregulated. Institutions that require compliance with the regulations, such as banks and financial companies, have suffered many such punishments over the last decade, and the very magnitude of fines should spur a warning to all compliance officers.

One case that proved to have hefty consequences when failing to comply with AML was the U.A.E-based bank, Mashreqbank PSC, New York Branch. The bank was fined $40 million by the New York Department of Financial Services for AML breaches. Further repercussions of this incident included, under a consent order, having to hire a third-party compliance consultant to oversee deficiencies in regards to compliance. The bank was also subjected to further scrutiny of past actions. 

Another case, on a smaller scale, relates to the former CEO of Sonali Bank (UK). This was conducted by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), who fined the individual £76,400. The case was reviewed from 2014 to 2016 and concluded that the CEO failed to take reasonable steps to mitigate the AML risks from a culture of non-compliance, in addition to a failure of oversight on the procedures. 

Do your Due Diligence – The Cedar Rose Solution
The crack down on AML and KYC regulations has proved to be a robust system, with financial regulators stopping at nothing to ensure companies are participating in the right course of action to prevent illicit activities. Before you go into business with someone, make sure you do your due diligence, investigate your clientele in line with KYC and AML regulations, otherwise it may be your business next. Our investigative due diligence reports provide meticulously gathered and professionally detailed information on companies or individuals. From Enhanced due diligence reports to Customer due diligence investigations, Cedar Rose offers the helping hand you may need to comply with KYC and AML regulations. 

We are experienced in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region for over 21 years and now cover several developing countries where information has traditionally been hard to access. We are the go-to company for the Middle East (including Iran, Cyprus and Turkey), North Africa and India and are chosen due to our expertise, professionalism and trusted quality. Don’t take the chance of not conducting the correct measures for compliance, the effects may be irreversible – not only financially but to your reputation too.

www.cedar-rose.com

Gain a better understand of Cedar Rose through our Newsroom.

Written By Jack Evangelides, Marketing Assistant

*** The sole purpose of the article above is to generate public discussion, it has no intention to constitute legal advice. ***

2019 Incoming: What do you want from your business?

2019

2019 is just a few moments away, another year filled with targets to be hit, goals to be set and, hopefully, prosperity to be reaped. No matter the size of your business, setting yearly plans are part of every new calendar year. 2019 is just over the horizon so what is your vision, what are your objectives? Whether you are a business owner, salesperson, in marketing or any other department, you will be contemplating your plans for 2019. It can be important to set out clear and strategic goals to help guide your business or department towards the correct path. Kick start 2019 with a clear mind, a strong vision and the right tools to guide you to success.

Intelligence is Key
Business intelligence may be your knight in shining armour, the key to unlocking future success and your personal guidance for 2019. Intelligence is pivotal in order to overcome certain barriers and blockades, the intelligence to Know Your Customer (KYC), to mitigate risks, to build stronger relationships and more. The road to success is different for everyone, for each company and for each department, yet they all require business intelligence. For example, if you are in marketing, having marketing lists may help to achieve a more secure income, chasing down leads in cooperation with your sales team to cement that transaction, the greater the list, the more chance of success. Although, the quality of leads may be as important as the size of the list, therefore, success in 2019 may be dependent on acquiring the right kind of marketing list which may be reliant on a strong business intelligence solution.

Set off in Style
With the magnitude of globalisation in the 21st century, KYC has never been more important. To comply with KYC and, subsequently Anti-Money Laundering (AML) you are required to do your due diligence. Investigate your supplier, find out who the real Ultimate Beneficiary Ownership (UBO) is, check for Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) to mitigate risks and create a more robust 2019. When you perform KYC checks, you not only increase the potential of mitigating risks but, furthermore, it may help you build stronger client relationships based on very firm foundations.

2019 can be the year of credit reports, due diligence investigations, enhanced client relationships, innovative marketing techniques and anything else that you need to alleviate the chances of risk. This coming year may be the year that you take your business to the next level, conquering new markets across the globe. This is no easy task, but with the right business intelligence, your 2019 vision may be closer than you think. What sets you out from the rest? Why is your business the best at what it does? Because you have done your research, you have the business intelligence solutions to take you to where you need to go. Make sure to choose a knowledgeable partner you can trust for the journey to success.

www.cedar-rose.com

Gain a better understand of Cedar Rose through our Newsroom.

Written By Jack Evangelides, Marketing Assistant

*** The sole purpose of the article above is to generate public discussion, it has no intention to constitute legal advice. ***

Information: Your Database for the Developing Countries

Information CRiS

This last decade of the 21st century has seen a dramatic increase in the quantity of information available to the everyday person, with technology surpassing any expectations. It is possible to connect to a person, company or computer across the globe just from a few clicks on your phone, laptop or desktop. With this technological revolution came innovators, those who took and who are still taking technology to the next level. Companies are utilising the magnitude of data, the ingeniousness of technology and the speed of delivery to enhance the workplace and produce greater results. It is undeniable how the world has changed in recent years, thus, we look to the forefront of this trend for new inspiration on this ever-growing phenomenon.

The Antagonist
The amount of information available has many benefits ranging from more transparency to greater access of knowledge, however, it also poses a real threat. Threats such as untrustworthy information, data theft and hacking are by-products of this new realm of information that we all live in. The need for data security, trusted sources of information and protection laws has never been more evident. Thus, to live in this technologically utopian society, we need to find the balance between unlimited access to data and security of fraud and deceitfulness. To fully utilise the potential of all this accessible information there are certain procedures you can take, especially when conducting business.

3 Point Quote

The Balance – Cedar Rose
Cedar Rose have perfected the way for companies and individuals alike to find the balance between access to global information and the security and trustworthiness of their data. We cover countries where data is of the utmost importance. With a main focus on the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), the Cedar Rose coverage also encompasses the developing countries, with our database containing over 11 million companies and over 20 million individuals. We are internationally recognised for identifying connections between people and people, companies and companies and people and companies across borders.

Maximum Potential – Cedar Rose
So what is the full scope of benefits to accessing this data and the security of knowing that it is trustworthy?

Whether you’re exporting abroad, giving credit or simply performing many other day-to-day business arrangements with companies or individuals, the Cedar Rose database (CRiS) is your one-stop shop for business intelligence. Not only is it the largest MENA database of companies and individuals currently available in one place, but it also allows searches in local language script (eg; Arabic/Persian) or in English, for more accurate identification.

What have we established so far?

Cedar Rose holds the largest database in the MENA region, it is all accessible from one access point, and data is translated and transliterated, therefore, whether you are typing in Arabic or English you are able to find what you are looking for. However, there is more and, perhaps, the most significant feature of this comprehensive database, the identifying and connecting feature. CRiS can cross reference the millions of companies and individuals in its database so that affiliations may be easily identified to produce results such as tracing the Ultimate Beneficiary Owners (UBO). The search is conducted using advanced server technology to optimise the speed-enhanced algorithm for best data matching. The data we hold on individuals and companies is linked to ensure that searches not only show people data, but can show any relation to certain companies, such as whether they hold shares, directorship positions they hold (or have held) and more. Furthermore, there are over 20 search filters for companies and over 25 for individuals for more accurate identification.

An important factor for most companies in the business intelligence, compliance, banking, investment and legal sector is concern over the source of information. How trustworthy is it? Our CRiS database provides source and intelligence grading next to each data field which rates the reliability of the source, in addition to a date stamp for a more accurate result. The accuracy of information is also superseded by the fact that each company and individual has Unique Identifiers which reduces duplicated data.

Another bonus of CRiS is that there are various levels of subscriptions offered which allows you to choose what plan is best suited to your needs. From the KYC level suitable to help your sales team identify and contact legitimately registered businesses, Credit Reporting level helping you to size and risk analyse companies all the way to the Directorship and Shareholding level, with the latter enabling the full linking of companies and people. Furthermore, if you have any questions or concerns while using CRiS, we provide a full support system via secure servers for your personal benefit.

Contact us for more information on our CRiS subscription services.

Gain a better understand of Cedar Rose through our Newsroom.

Written By Jack Evangelides, Marketing Assistant

*** The sole purpose of the article above is to generate public discussion, it has no intention to constitute legal advice. ***

PSD2 (Part 2): Enhanced ID Verification – What You Need to Know

With a deadline of 2019, compliance with PSD2 from Payment Service Providers (PSPs) is right around the corner. Having to adhere to certain Regulatory Technical Standards (RTS), the traditional customer – merchant relationship is drastically changing. From banks offering their APIs to Third-Party Providers (TPPs) to enhance security measures in the forms of fingerprint scans or even facial recognition when placing transactions. The overriding goal is to simply eradicate, once and for all, any and all fraudulent activities. PSD2 is innovation at its finest and it has the flexibility and responsiveness to adapt to ever-changing circumstances. Electronic ID Verification (EIDV) offers an extra and highly necessary layer of security for e-commerce in order to stamp out fraud. Payment regulators understand and prioritise customer safety when making transactions, so how can EIDV provide this desired security?

Enhanced Levels of Verification – The Digital Defender, at Your Service

The Cedar Rose electronic identity verification services can satisfy the markets needs for enhanced securities in the world of payments; and has the potential to ensure the utmost in security measures are upheld. Whether you’re placing high value transactions or buying a pair of shoes, electronic identity verification or EIDV, can safeguard your data and ensure a smooth trade.

The potential for additional levels of ID verification is, potentially, unlimited. For example, a relatively new digital identity verification platform envisages newer means of security for e-commerce. The platform – Jumio, attempts to match IDs of individuals with an image of the user, in real time. The selfie nature of Jumio essentially ‘scares’ off fraudsters, because of their, would be, unwillingness to want to release a photo whereby a level of security requests a facial verification in the form of a self made photo. Furthermore, Jumio complies with mandates and directives such as: KYC, AML, GDPR and PSD2. This service platform leads the way for other innovative ideas to enhance security and minimise fraudulent activity.

Here at Cedar Rose, we offer EIDV to discover the validity of an individual, in real time. We use public records to match data across ‘Source A’ with stored data from ‘Source B’, data in the form of ID cards, driving licenses, birth certificates and more. If the information correlates from the sources we can then confirm ones identity, however, if there isn’t a match, we can then conclude that there has been an attempt of fraud. Similar to the Jumio platform, Cedar Rose can kick out fraudulent activities and ensure the safety and security of their clients. More specifically, there are two routes in which you can use EIDV.

Firstly, by using a meKYC check that provides access, via API for instant verification data, for both people and businesses. Or, secondly, you can perform a youIDV check that allows you to focus on people alone, also via our robust identity verification API tool.

 

PSD2 – The Opportunist

The future of e-commerce is constantly developing and evolving. PSD2 provides opportunities for innovative ideas that can change the traditional format of online transactions, provide in-depth security measures and, conclusively, eliminate fraud. With the future of technologies constantly changing, PSD2 delivers an adaptable directive that parallels and works with new technologies (such as EIDV). The evolution of e-commerce is at our doorstep. Banks will now have to offer their APIs to TPPs and introduce a contingency plan in the case of their APIs failing. The banks would have to then give TPPs an alternative way of accessing their customer’s data, thus, providing them with end users’ login credentials (even though they are not technically the end user). Excitingly, the deadline for the compliance with PSD2 is estimated to be September 2019. Don’t miss out on Cedar Rose’s latest articles as we will be bringing you updates on PSD2 developments, see here.

Written By Jack Evangelides, Marketing Intern

Sourced Image: Pixabay

 

*** The sole purpose of the article above is to generate public discussion, it has no intention to constitute legal advice. ***

PSD2 (Part 1): The Revolution of E-Commerce

Stay ahead of the game with the pending commencement of PSD2; understand its unlimited capabilities and the innovation behind this new revolutionary technology. An e-commerce experience that provides: efficiency, transparency, speed and the fundamental and game changing feature, enhanced security. PSD2 is paving the way for payments innovation.

What is PSD2?

PSD2 is, simply, the second Payment Services Directive, but what does this mean? Affecting e-commerce, PSD2 outlines new potentials when making online payments between customer and merchant (for example, eBay). It decentralises the monopoly on user data from banks and allows merchants to retrieve account data (in the form of a token) from your bank – with your permission of course. PSD2 is offering enhanced security in the form of identity checks when participating in online payments and, furthermore, it is attempting to prohibit the use of non-transparent pricing methods for international payments. PSD2 “serves as an onramp for future e-digital banking initiatives,” (Andreasyan, 2017). This innovation may be the future of e-commerce with great potentials to be reached.

Token and Tokenization

The process of tokenization is an in-depth security measure to make sure that your online payments are secure, and, more importantly, a countermeasure to any fraudulent activity. A token is an algorithmically generated and encrypted code that ‘replaces’ your sensitive data. This token is then distributed through the internet and other networks needed to process a payment without exposing any details. All sensitive data from a payment is stored in a secure token vault, the Fort Knox of e-commerce. Tokenization aims to prevent the duplication of consumers banking details, fighting online and all digital breaches.

When is it Released and What Can We Offer?

PSD2 was constructed by countries of the European Union and it has been developing since 2015, but is set to be finally implemented by 2018/2019. Brace yourselves for the inevitable revolution of e-commerce.
Here at Cedar Rose we work with, potentially, the largest and most comprehensive database containing a copious amount of sensitive data. Henceforward, security and privacy are at the core of our ethos. Cedar Rose offers Electronic Identity Verification (EIDV) providing access, via API, for instant (in real-time) and precise identity verification data on individuals and companies. This tool can help mitigate risks such as:

  1. Identity TheftPSD2
  2. Negative Verification
  3. Social Identity Claims
  4. Fraudulent Activity

We are proudly, the first identity verification service for the Middle East and Russia.

Contact us at order@cedar-rose.com for further information in regards to the second Payment Services Directive or Electronic Identity Verification and any other enquiries that you may have.

Stay current with the latest news through our esteemed newsroom.

Written By Jack Evangelides, Marketing Intern

Bibliography

Andreasyan, T. (2017, November 20). Fiorano launches PSD2 solution for banks. Retrieved September 17, 2018, from Banking Tech: https://www.bankingtech.com/2017/11/fiorano-launches-psd2-solution-for-banks/

Sourced Image: Pixabay

Sourced Image: Pixabay

*** The sole purpose of the article above is to generate public discussion, it has no intention to constitute legal advice. ***