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AML Security Compliance to Counter Money Laundering

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In order to keep financial institutions and banks free from fraud attempts, regulatory bodies have laid out strict security controls. Money laundering is a concerning crime that law enforcement bodies have worked hard to stop. AML security compliance is the measures taken by the regulatory authorities that guide the different business organizations to fight against money laundering crimes. However, complying with these regulations is not an easy task. The resources and time required to carry out the process can prove to be a strain on the financial institutions and banks which can affect their business operations. In this blog, we will discuss the importance of AML compliance and the steps that can be taken to comply with the necessary regulations. 

What is AML Security Compliance?

AML security compliance, also known as Anti-Money Laundering compliance is the detailed background check of the potential client or a business organization that a business is looking to onboard or deal with, respectively. The compliance obligates all business organizations to identify all their client through PII (Personal Identifiable Information) and record the information. In case the customer is detected to be involved in illegal activity, these records can be used to carry out further investigation. The clients can be screened against the global watchlists or sanction lists to ensure that the customer’s background is clean and he/she is not attached to any illegal financial crime. 

The aim of AML security compliance is to detect and eliminate any money laundering or terrorist financing risks. In order to eliminate these crimes, businesses must come up with a strong program for compliance. 

Listed below are the steps that can ensure compliance with AML security. 

Investigating Suspicious Activity 

The first step the businesses and banks must take is to stay alert on all the transactions and the transfer of money. For instance, banks must look out for an unusually large amount of money being deposited. They should keep a check on the information provided while the customer is onboarding and whether any fake data is provided or not. If they have detected any suspicious activity, they must immediately report to the law enforcement authorities to carry out a detailed investigation. 

Risk Assessment 

Assessment for money laundering and terrorism financing can help to manage the customers. A score can be given based on the assessment and the firms can decide their risk appetite and their ability to onboard the client based on their score. Due diligence can help to score the clients.  

Audits 

An auditor must be hired who works independently and can assist the businesses by analyzing their AML security program. This way any weakness found in the system can be detected and the firm can improve the measures for stronger compliance. The auditor can review the background screening, KYC verification, due diligence, monitoring, and other such measures to evaluate the effectiveness of the AML security program. Many countries have laws that require their business firms to carry out these audits. New Zealand’s AML and CFT laws obligate the companies to carry out an independent audit after few years for strong AML security measures. The auditor must be an expert in the AML regulation and must not be a part of the company or have played any part in developing the company’s security policies. 

AML Software

This is another method that financial firms and business organizations take to strengthen their AML program. This is a technological solution that can perform AML checks within a seconds and since it is AI-based, the accuracy of the process is far better than any other method. It enables businesses to perform more effective due diligence and risk assessment than the manual process. 

How it works is that the customer just has to provide their government-issued identity documents and the AI-powered software can verify their identity along with a detailed background check against the global data provided by the regulatory authorities from around the world. This shortens the due diligence process and the customers do not have to go through a lengthy process of proving their identity and the legitimacy of their background. However, if the customer has been involved in any illicit activities previously, this AML solution can detect that.

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