KYC AML Guide: the Clock shows the average reeding time of the blog10 min Read


KYC AML Guide: the Clock shows the average reeding time of the blogAugust 31, 2023

What is Know Your Transaction (KYT)?

In today's volatile financial environment, taking care of the business is more important than ever. The rise of digital currency, online banking, and the global economy has simplified the movement of money across borders, but it has also increased the likelihood of money laundering. This is where "Know Your Transaction" or KYT comes in, a critical component of the fight against financial fraud and money laundering.

Belal Mahmoud

KYC Product Consultant

What is KYT Meaning?

KYT’s full form Know Your Transaction, is a method used by financial institutions to monitor and track financial transactions to detect and prevent illegal or criminal activities such as money laundering and terrorist financing

KYT is critical because it allows financial institutions to comply with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) regulations while also protecting their position and customers from financial misconduct.

Furthermore, KYT acts as a catalyst to promote openness and accountability in the financial system, which is a critical prerequisite for maintaining the global economy’s health and reliability.

All around the world, the financial sector is a pillar of the economy, and ensuring the integrity of financial transactions is critical. KYT contributes to this goal by assisting institutions in staying ahead of financial criminals and money launderers who seek to exploit the financial system.

How KYT Functions:

Consider a thriving financial institution operating in the heart of London. The company is committed to safeguarding its clients’ assets while adhering to anti-money laundering (AML) regulations. Let’s take a look inside this financial institution to see how the KYT system works from a visual standpoint.

Step 1: Data Collection

Suppose a customer initiates a large-scale business transaction. Because of their distinct nature, these businesses are classified in the industry. This system collects and analyses transaction data, taking into account factors such as the number of transactions and the people involved in the transaction process.

Step 2: Continuous Monitoring

The company’s system generates alerts over time based on pre-reported risk criteria and risk appetite. It may, for example, raise a red flag when transactions involving parties from high-risk jurisdictions occur. These indicators act as early warning systems.

Step 3: Review

When an alert is received, the institution’s compliance team goes into action. They carefully examine the flagged transaction, taking into account a variety of factors. If the transaction is deemed legal, it is completed immediately. If suspicions persist, the transaction is escalated for additional investigation.

Step 4: Investigation & Reporting

Suspicious transactions are thoroughly investigated to determine their origin, purpose, and nature. Reports are filed with the appropriate financial authorities as needed. In our example, the compliance team conducts a thorough investigation into the flagged transaction. They investigate the parties involved, looking for any possible connections to organized crime or illegal activities. Transactions that continue to appear fraudulent are rejected, and a suspicious activity report is generated.

KYT and Anti-Money Laundering

Let’s explore the tangible benefits KYT brings to the table in terms of AML and CTF compliance:

Monitoring of Financial Transactions:

Know your transaction operates in real-time and closely monitors financial transactions and behavior. It is intended to detect and flag suspicious activity quickly, particularly when unusually high transaction volumes occur in unusually short periods. These flags activate fraud detection systems, such as transaction monitoring software, which works in tandem with the company’s KYT program. This, in turn, improves the agency’s ability to effectively compile AML and CFT reports.

Risk Assessment:

KYT derives insights from a variety of data sources, such as Politically Exposed Persons (PEP) lists, high-risk jurisdiction registries, and negative media and sanctions databases. Using this extensive dataset allows organizations to improve the accuracy of their risk assessment methods. As a result, they can more effectively adapt to AML and CTF regulations, streamlining their compliance efforts.

Real-time Monitoring:

While some organizations rely on regular transaction monitoring software to detect suspicious activity, many of these solutions have time constraints. KYT, on the other hand, advocates the use of real-time systems for continuous transaction and behavior analysis. This real-time capability is critical for AML and CTF compliance. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) emphasizes the benefits of real-time threat monitoring systems to improve financial security.

Enhanced Due Diligence:

AML regulations require institutions to perform both Customer Due Diligence (CDD) and Enhanced Due Diligence (EDD), with the level of scrutiny determined by the level of suspicion associated with each customer. Knowing your transaction is critical to facilitating these due diligence processes. The more comprehensive the insights gained through KYT, the better informed and efficient the organization’s CDD and EDD processes will be.

Also Read: Customer Due Diligence vs Enhanced Due Diligence for Effective Risk Monitoring

Regular Training:

Knowing your transaction requires ongoing training and research to foster an engaged culture among employees. This dedication to knowledge enhancement is yet another way KYT contributes to businesses’ AML compliance efforts. It keeps organizations up to date on the ever-changing landscape of AML regulations, ensuring compliance.

The Role of KYT in Crypto

A recent case in the United Kingdom highlighted the importance of KYT for cryptocurrency transactions. This is primarily due to the one-of-a-kind nature of cryptocurrency transactions, which frequently provide less identifying information than participants’ cryptocurrency wallet addresses.

The Crypto Heist Investigation

Large sums of cryptocurrencies are being stolen from major exchanges in a high-profile case that has hit the UK financial industry. Knowing your customer (KYC) and knowing your business (KYB) have not been enough to prevent this breach because criminals have been able to conceal their true identities.

Also Read: Navigating the Complexities: Challenges of Regulating Cryptocurrency

KYT assisted with this research. Authorities have conducted investigations into various groups of cryptocurrency businesses, delving into the complexities of each transaction to uncover patterns that indicate fraudulent activity. They can track and apprehend those responsible for the theft by tracking the cryptocurrency.

The Dark Web Marketplace’s Bust

The dark web remains a haven for illegal activities, such as the sale of illegal goods and services with cryptocurrencies as the preferred method of payment. UK law enforcement agencies have recently targeted these markets.

KYT played a significant role in these projects. Researchers investigated cryptocurrency transactions on the dark web, revealing a hidden criminal network. They were able to shut down many dark web stores and arrest the victims by following the money trail.

While Know Your Transaction (KYT) has many advantages, its implementation is fraught with difficulties, including:

Implementation and Ongoing Liability:

Putting in place the KYT system and ensuring that it functions properly can be a huge asset. The cost of initial setup, software purchases, and ongoing maintenance can all deplete a company’s budget.

The Risks of False Positives:

 In their eagerness to identify potential risks, KYT systems may mistake legitimate transactions for suspicious. As innocent transactions are investigated, this can result in additional administrative burdens and customer dissatisfaction.


The KYT system relies on access to sensitive customer data, which raises privacy concerns. Finding the right balance between security and personal information protection is an ongoing challenge.

Inherent Limitations:

As the KYT system is useful, it is not without flaws. They may not detect all cases of money laundering, particularly when sophisticated criminals employ sophisticated methods to thwart their activities.

Emerging Technologies:

New technologies such as cryptocurrencies and blockchain pose new challenges for KYT. Investing in R&D to stay current with emerging technologies and partnering with technology providers to leverage their expertise are two solutions to this problem.


Know Your Customer (KYC) and Know Your Transaction (KYT) are both critical components of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing processes, but they serve different functions. KYC is used at the start of a customer relationship to validate individuals’ identities and assess associated risks. KYT, on the other hand, is a continuous process that constantly monitors and evaluates customer transactions, with a focus not only on the customer but also on the nature of the transactions themselves. During customer onboarding, KYC emphasizes identity verification and risk assessment, whereas KYT ensures that financial activities remain above suspicion by scrutinizing transaction patterns and characteristics.


Know Your Transaction (KYT) is an essential tool for financial institutions and authorities. It acts as a preventative measure against financial crime, money laundering, and other illegal activities that threaten the integrity of the financial system. The financial sector can continue to thrive while keeping fraudsters at bay by implementing robust KYT procedures and leveraging advanced technology.


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Belal Mahmoud
KYC AML Guide: the Linkedin share

Belal possess over 8 years experience in the KYC Identity Verification industry. He has consulted KYC solutions for over 20 new economy companies at DIFC and ADGM while ensuring a seamless technical integration and helped in jurisdictional compliance audits.