UK KYC regulatory compliance

To ensure that virtual phone numbers are used compliantly, the UK regulators have increased their KYC requirements in 2024 to ensure that adequate information about the business or individual using the phone numbers is obtained in an attempt to help reduce the volume of voice and message traffic that violates the network's acceptable usage policy.

What are the KYC guidelines changes?

Also referred to as 'Know Your Customer', KYC guidelines originate from the banking and financial sectors and have since been widely applied to UK business sectors to obtain personal and business information to help reduce risk, including fraud and misuse of services.

KYC guidelines vary per sector, but for virtual phone numbers, you'll now need to provide information about you and your usage type as well as supporting documentation to be able to continue to use our services.

Why are these changes being made?

In an effort to reduce spam, fraud and smishing (a combination of SMS and phishing), UK networks and virtual number providers are now required to verify the individuals or businesses that are using the phone numbers (also referred to as the end-users) and where they are located geographically.

Are other virtual number providers enforcing this requirement?

Yes, this is a UK-wide KYC change and whilst some businesses may not immediately roll out these changes, the UK regulators are expecting compliance from all providers over the coming months.

Are there costs associated with having my KYC information approved?

No, it's free to register your information with the network to have your KYC information vetted and approved.

How long does it take for my information to be reviewed?

The current review and approval timeframe is between 1-3 business days, but this may be subject to change based on the volume of applications the network receives.

It's worth noting that inaccurate information or supporting documentation that doesn't meet the requirements will result in rejection, therefore longer timeframes may apply to your submission.

What happens if my submission is rejected?

If the information provided is rejected by the network, you'll be given specific information on why and details on how to fix the issues.

Depending on the rejection reason, you may need to resubmit information again before we can process further submissions.

Can anyone still use virtual phone numbers?

The requirements are currently to register as either an individual or business, so as long as your usage of the phone numbers is in line with the network's acceptable use policy, you'll be able to register.

If you're unsure which application type you need to register under you can reach out to our support team who will assist you further at [email protected].

What if I can't provide the information or supporting documentation you need?

Without the relevant information, including ID and proof of address documentation, you'll be unable to submit your KYC information and all traffic will be blocked from your phone numbers after 30th September 2024.

What information will I need to provide?

For individuals, you'll need to provide:

  • Full name - proof of government-issued ID/passport required as supporting documentation

  • Address - proof of address in line with government-approved documentation is required as supporting documentation and must be a valid UK address and cannot be a PO box or virtual office address

  • Date of birth

  • Phone number - this must be a valid phone number, virtual numbers cannot be accepted

  • Email address

For businesses (registered businesses/sole traders), you'll need to provide:

  • Business name - this should be the full, registered business name

  • Business registration number - this should match the registration number on Companies House

  • Website URL - if you don't have a website, you can provide social media URLs for your business

  • Business address - this should be your principal place of business, must be a valid UK address and cannot be a PO box or virtual office address

  • Full name - this should be an authorised representative or senior manager within the business

  • Business phone number - this must be a valid phone number, virtual numbers cannot be accepted

  • Business email address
Will I have to register every time I purchase a number?

No, once approved, the provided details form part of an approved regulatory profile that is assigned to all current and future phone numbers created in the app.

What happens if I choose not to provide this information?

After 27th May 2024, you'll be unable to purchase new numbers in the app and after 30th September 2024, all inbound and outbound call and message traffic to your existing numbers will be blocked.

How long does it take to register?

If you have the supporting documentation to hand, it takes less than 5 minutes to process your submission to us and once the information is received, we screen it before passing it securely to our network provider to review and approve.

Are there any requirements I should factor in when providing supporting documentation?

If you're registering as an individual, or a business that isn't registered on Companies House, you'll need to supply us with supporting documentation.

When sending us this information, it is important to factor in the below requirements:

  • The documentation should be clear and legible with all corners of the documentation in view

  • Documentation should not be obscured in any way, other than anonymising personal information such as financial data or personal information not requested as part of this process

  • Address documentation should be dated within the past 3 months, with all photographic IDs being valid/in-date

  • Only documentation on the government's list of approved documentation can be accepted, failure to supply acceptable documentation will result in your application being rejected and you'll need to restart the process

  • Scanned copies and photographs should be in colour

  • Identity documentation should match the name provided on the application and your workspace - applications that don't match will result in your application being rejected and you'll need to restart the process
What happens to my personal information and where is it stored?

Once processed, we remove all your personal/business information from our systems and no data is held locally on any device.

You can see how we process and manage our user information in our privacy policy.

What happens to my information if I end my subscription/port away from Chalkboard?

Once a subscription has ended, workspace owners can tap on the subscription ended splash screen, tap on Delete account and follow the steps shown on the screen.

Once this is done, we process this request and remove all information related to your workspace and business from our systems, including any personal or business KYC information supplied.

How do I submit my KYC information?

If you're ready to get started, you can follow the link here.

Updated 16 days ago.

If you can’t find an answer here, you can always contact our friendly team through the Chalkboard app. Click Settings, then Contact us.