The Ultimate Enhanced Due Diligence Checklist

I’ve been in your shoes. Trying to navigate the complex world of enhanced due diligence, wondering if you’re covering all the bases. It’s a daunting task, but one that’s absolutely critical to protecting your business from financial crimes and reputational damage. That’s why I’ve put together this ultimate enhanced due diligence checklist for 2024.

It’s not just another generic list – it’s a roadmap based on years of experience and the latest regulatory requirements. Whether you’re a seasoned compliance professional or new to the game, this checklist will help you stay on top of your EDD obligations and make informed decisions.

So, let’s dive in to this enhanced due diligence checklist and see what it takes in today’s rapidly evolving landscape. Trust me, your future self will thank you for being proactive and diligent.

What is Enhanced Due Diligence (EDD)?

When it comes to keeping your business safe from financial crime, enhanced due diligence (EDD) is a must. But what exactly is it?

Definition of Enhanced Due Diligence

EDD is a more in-depth process of investigating and verifying customer information for higher-risk customers. It goes beyond standard Customer Due Diligence (CDD) measures. We’re talking about collecting additional information to thoroughly assess and mitigate the risks associated with these customers.

Importance of EDD in AML Compliance

In my experience, EDD plays a crucial role in Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance. It helps financial institutions identify and prevent financial crimes like money laundering, terrorist financing, and fraud.

By conducting enhanced due diligence on high-risk customers, you can better assess and manage the risks that come with these relationships. Trust me, it’s worth the extra effort.

When is EDD Required?

So, when do you need to break out the EDD process? Typically, it’s required when a customer is identified as high-risk based on factors like their business activities, geographic location, transaction patterns, or other red flags.

Regulatory requirements, like those set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), also mandate EDD for certain types of customers. We’re talking about Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) and other high-risk individuals.

Key Elements of an Enhanced Due Diligence Checklist

Alright, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of what should be on your enhanced due diligence checklist. These are the key elements you can’t afford to miss.

Identifying High-Risk Customers

First things first, you need to identify which customers pose a higher risk. This means assessing factors like the customer’s industry, geographic location, transaction patterns, and other red flags.

Make sure you have clear criteria and risk assessment methodologies in place. This will help you consistently identify high-risk customers and apply the appropriate level of due diligence.

Verifying Beneficial Ownership

Verifying the beneficial ownership of a company is a critical component of EDD. You need to identify the natural persons who ultimately own or control the customer, as well as those who benefit from the transactions.

Collect and verify information on beneficial owners, including their identities, ownership percentages, and sources of wealth. Don’t skimp on this step – it’s crucial for understanding who you’re really dealing with.

Analyzing Ownership Structure

EDD requires a thorough analysis of a customer’s ownership structure, especially for complex corporate entities. You need to understand the relationships between parent companies, subsidiaries, and affiliated entities.

Keep an eye out for shell companies or opaque ownership structures that may indicate a higher risk of financial crime. Dig deep and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

Collecting Additional Information

As part of the EDD process, you’ll need to collect additional information beyond what’s required for standard CDD. This may include detailed information on the customer’s business activities, sources of funds, transaction history, and anticipated account activity.

The goal is to gain a comprehensive understanding of the customer’s risk profile and to identify any potential red flags. Leave no stone unturned.

Best Practices for Conducting Enhanced Due Diligence

Now that you know what should be on your enhanced due diligence checklist, let’s talk about best practices for conducting EDD. These tips will help you stay on top of your game.

Adopting a Risk-Based Approach

Adopt a risk-based approach to EDD. This means allocating resources and applying enhanced measures based on the level of risk posed by each customer.

Focus your efforts on the highest-risk relationships while maintaining a more streamlined process for lower-risk customers. Work smarter, not harder.

Implementing Robust EDD Policies

Develop and implement robust EDD policies and procedures that outline the specific steps and requirements for conducting enhanced due diligence. These policies should be regularly reviewed and updated.

Make sure they remain effective and compliant with evolving regulatory requirements and industry best practices. Don’t let your policies gather dust on a shelf.

Conducting Ongoing Monitoring

EDD is not a one-and-done deal. It’s an ongoing process that requires regular reviews and monitoring of high-risk customers.

Keep an eye out for changes in their risk profile or suspicious activities. This means monitoring transactions, updating customer information, and conducting periodic reviews of the relationship.

Ensuring EDD Compliance

To ensure compliance with EDD requirements, provide adequate training to your staff, maintain comprehensive records of EDD activities, and regularly audit your processes.

Stay informed of regulatory changes and industry best practices to continuously improve your EDD program. Compliance is not optional – it’s a must.

Challenges and Solutions in Implementing EDD

Implementing EDD is not without its challenges. But fear not, there are solutions to help you navigate these tricky waters.

Dealing with Complex Ownership Structures

One of the main challenges in conducting EDD is unraveling complex ownership structures. This is especially true for companies with multiple layers of ownership or those located in jurisdictions with limited transparency.

To overcome this, leverage public records, commercial databases, and enhanced due diligence tools to gather and analyze ownership information. Don’t be afraid to dig deep.

Mitigating Risks from High-Risk Countries

Customers with ties to high-risk countries, such as those subject to sanctions or known for high levels of corruption, pose additional challenges for EDD.

Stay informed of the latest country risk assessments and apply enhanced measures when dealing with customers from these jurisdictions. This may include gathering additional information on the source of funds and the purpose of transactions.

Meeting Regulatory Requirements

Keeping up with evolving regulatory requirements for EDD can be a challenge for financial institutions. To ensure compliance, regularly review and update your EDD policies, provide ongoing training to staff, and maintain open communication with regulators.

Consider partnering with experienced compliance professionals or consultants to help navigate complex regulatory landscapes. Don’t go it alone.

Leveraging Advanced Risk Management Tools

To effectively manage the challenges of EDD, leverage advanced risk management tools and technologies. These may include customer risk scoring systems, automated screening tools, and data analytics platforms.

These tools can help identify high-risk customers, monitor transactions, and detect suspicious activities more efficiently. Work smarter, not harder.

The Role of Technology in Enhancing EDD Processes

Technology is your friend when it comes to enhancing your EDD processes. Here’s how it can help you stay ahead of the game.

Automating EDD Workflows

Streamline and automate your EDD workflows with technology. Implement automated systems for data collection, customer risk assessment, and ongoing monitoring.

This will reduce manual efforts, minimize errors, and improve the efficiency of your EDD processes. Let technology do the heavy lifting.

Integrating Data from Multiple Sources

Effective EDD requires gathering and analyzing data from multiple sources, including internal databases, public records, and commercial data providers.

Technology solutions can help integrate these disparate data sources, providing a more comprehensive view of customer risk and enabling more informed decision-making. Connect the dots.

Leveraging AI and Machine Learning for Risk Assessment

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) technologies can be leveraged to enhance risk assessment in EDD. By analyzing vast amounts of data and identifying patterns and anomalies, AI and ML algorithms can help detect high-risk customers and suspicious activities more accurately and efficiently than manual processes alone.

Embrace the power of AI and ML to take your EDD processes to the next level. The future is now.

Important Takeaway: 

Enhanced due diligence (EDD) digs deeper than standard checks to identify and manage risks from high-risk customers. It’s crucial for compliance, especially with regulatory requirements like those from FATF. Key steps include identifying risky customers, verifying beneficial ownership, analyzing complex structures, and collecting detailed information.

FAQs in Relation to Enhanced Due Diligence Checklist

What is required for enhanced due diligence?

You need to identify high-risk customers, verify beneficial ownership, analyze the ownership structure, and collect additional information. Use advanced risk management tools.

What are the four customer due diligence requirements?

Identify and verify the customer’s identity. Understand their business relationships. Monitor ongoing transactions. Identify any politically exposed persons (PEPs).

What are the triggers for enhanced due diligence?

Triggers include complex ownership structures, dealing with high-risk countries, large or unusual transactions, and adverse media reports.

What is EDD in KYC?

EDD in KYC means conducting deeper checks on higher-risk customers to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing.


It’s no walk in the park, but with this comprehensive enhanced due diligence checklist, you’re well on your way to mastering the process. From identifying high-risk customers to analyzing complex ownership structures, we’ve covered all the key elements you need to consider.

Remember, EDD is an ongoing journey, not a one-time destination. Stay vigilant, keep your policies up to date, and don’t be afraid to leverage technology to streamline your efforts. With the right approach and tools, you can navigate the complexities of enhanced due diligence with confidence.

So, take this checklist, make it your own, and stay one step ahead of financial crimes. Your business, your customers, and your peace of mind will thank you for it. Here’s to a safer, more compliant future!

Simplify your business and operating models to enhance customer service and structurally reduce cost

FID Apply

Customer onboarding solutions

FID Insights

Improve fraud rates and minimize data breach and penalties exposure


A single tunable API to validate and authenticate

Be a part of the transformation with FortifID

A data solution that addresses the complexities of the digital world.