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Kerry Baklash

Kerry Baklash

Automating Due Diligence Processes with Business Website Lookup

Approximately 28% of businesses in the United States still lack a website, but the vast majority of them have websites providing basic information such as an official business name, business address, business phone, and contact information. Businesses that do not have a website are under significant pressure to build one given remote working requirements and the transition to e-commerce.

Know-Your-Business (KYB) Requirements

KYB, a process that stems from KYC requirements, is governed by Federal Regulations that require a financial institution (FI) to conduct due diligence on the businesses and associated individuals to which they are offering financial instruments. The goal of these regulations is to ensure that FIs do not offer financial services to parties that may be on a sanction list, watch list, or may be participating in illicit activities such as money laundering.

As a result, FIs perform basic checks on businesses in their portfolios including verifying their contact information, verifying their Tax ID number, ensuring they are not on a sanction list or watch list, and understanding their chain of ownership, among other requirements.

Since a website is a form of unofficial registration on the internet, it provides a valuable tool for FIs to reference and potentially flag concerns. Information about a businesses’ leadership, and operations in particular, is quite useful to ensure that it is not associated with illicit activities.

B2B Marketing and Portfolio Monitoring

In addition to facilitating the KYB process, a website can also offer benefits in the context of marketing and portfolio monitoring. On the marketing side, understanding a businesses’ operations and industry based on its website can enable an organization to decide whether to include it in marketing campaigns. The website also provides contact information for the business. On the portfolio monitoring side, FIs can periodically review website information for material changes in the business such as new product offerings, leadership changes, and new locations. 

Additionally, a website is a unique identity key that may be used to access other databases, such as technographics data (technology installs).

Finding a Website

Knowing a business’ website is a powerful tool. The challenge that many organizations face however, is to identify the website associated with a business. For small volumes it’s possible to do a google search. But in the context of a workflow, this manual process is not feasible. Thus, Demyst has released US Business Website Lookup, a Demyst API recipe that enables insurers and lenders to quickly identify the website associated with a business.

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