One of the obligations of those deemed as liable in the Law No. 5549 on the Prevention of Laundering Proceeds of Crime ("Law") article 2/d is "identifying the customer". Before establishing a business relation which will be a continuous relationship and other actions specified in article 5 of the Regulation on Measures Regarding the Prevention of Laundering Proceeds of Crime and Financing of Terrorism ("Regulation on Measures"), financial institutions shall complete the required customer due diligence process and as a part of this, identification of their customers.

As a rule, the measures determined as a liability regarding the financial institutions in the law and the relevant legislation must be carried out by that liable financial institution itself. However, article 21 of the Regulation on Measures regulates that, if some conditions are met, financial institutions may act by relying on the customer due diligence processes made by another financial institution regarding that customer.

Within the scope of our explanation above; in a transaction through mobile payment and when transaction is carried out on behalf of the payment institution, mobile operators acting as a representative of the payment institution are obliged to take the required measures regulated on the Regulation on Measures and complete the identification of the customer on behalf of payment institution. Nevertheless, mobile operators also complete the identification of their customers within the scope of their own legislation.

At this point, this should be determined, whether it is possible or not for mobile operators to establish a transaction based on their identification process which they have carried out within the scope of their own legislation. It is possible to create a solution to this subject, which is also in the MASAK's Frequently Asked Questions list, as follows:

  1. Due to the fact that reliance on third parties is a principle that is applicable only between financial institutions as per the Regulation on Measures, establishing a transaction will not be possible for a non-financial institution, based on an identification process performed by another financial institution.
  2. In the above-mentioned case, even though they are the representative of the financial institution and they had previously performed the identification, it will not be possible for the mobile operator to act by relying on their identification, since this identification process that they have completed is made in a different capacity and under a different legislation,

In addition, in the FATF's recommendations on this subject, it is mentioned that the principle of reliance on third parties is a principle that can only be applied among financial institutions. Therefore, it is not possible to carry out transactions by relying on the identification process carried out within the scope of any different legislation, other than the customer due diligence and know your customer principles and identification process regulated in the legislation on the prevention of money laundering. Also, it will not be possible to establish a transaction by relying on a third party when the previous identification took place in that mentioned way.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.