5 Key Security and Compliance Tools: AML Cloud Solutions

In recent years cloud technologies have seen increasing integration with banks’ anti-money laundering (AML) programs. Today’s cloud-based applications that focus on financial crime compliance management—are now both more useful and more affordable than ever—have proven to be a boon for small and mid-sized banks in particular. It no longer costs a fortune for these smaller financial institutions to equip themselves with the same AML technologies as their larger counterparts. And thanks to the wider availability of AML cloud solutions as a service, there’s no longer a need for every individual bank or institution to build a proprietary AML system either. Compliance teams from these institutions have the viable option of subscribing to a cloud service provider, who can, in turn, administer AML functionalities out of the box. 

If you are a decision-maker in your bank’s AML compliance team, there are several reasons for you to consider enlisting the services of an AML cloud provider. For one, they fully know how to use their compliance AML applications to safeguard your institution from financial crime. For another, using the cloud service provider’s capabilities will likely make the task of compliance much easier on your bank, as well as lower the cost of errors and inefficiencies in your AML program. 

However, for you to benefit the most from this software as a service (SaaS) arrangement, you will want your cloud provider to offer you the AML functionalities that you truly need. What security and compliance capabilities should you demand from them? Here are five that you should look for before inking the contract with your provider. 

#1 Exhaustive Use of Automation and AI Technologies

Automation and artificial intelligence (AI) have become increasingly essential in the fight against financial crime. The most successful AML programs are bolstered by extensive use of big data, automation, AI, and machine learning technologies for digitizing customer enrollment documents, facilitating data collection for know your customer (KYC) and customer due diligence (CDD) processes,  and cross-referencing customer-generated information with data collected from various sources.

Automated cloud technologies ensure that these tasks are done quickly, accurately, and efficiently, thus improving your day-to-day compliance and strengthening your overall protection from the taint of illicit activity. In addition, while your cloud solution handles the bulk of rote AML tasks, you and your staff will have your hands free to focus on other compliance-related matters that need human attention. Knowing how much you’ll have to rely on the power of automation, you must ensure that this is something your cloud provider can promise you.  

#2 Deployment and Fine-Tuning of a Wide Variety of AML Scenarios

In the parlance of AML implementation, the scenario gives a bank’s compliance team a framework to understand how financial crime happens and what circumstances may indicate the presence of illicit activity. Put simply; scenarios can be the basis of what counts as a false positive or a case of true concern according to the bylaws of your AML system. 

The ideal cloud solution should be able to deploy multiple scenarios and multiple sets of rules to be analyzed by the AML investigation team. Your provider should also be able to walk you through any fine-tuning or adjustment of these scenarios in case you need to adjust your processes or reclassify which circumstances merit flagging.  

#3 Integrated Case Management Capabilities

One thing that small and mid-sized banks are continuously discovering about effective AML practice is that it isn’t just a matter of tagging individual cases as false positives or false negatives. If you and your team want to revamp your AML program for the better, you will need to let go of your case-by-case approach and transition into a system that utilizes integrated case management. 

The integrated case management function of an AML cloud solution will help you streamline your customer data throughout the whole customer lifecycle, centralizing your investigation efforts and making them more responsive to activities happening in real-time. A great provider will assist you in your case management on the cloud and empower you to go beyond case-by-case crime detection. In the long run, their product should help you attain 360-degree visibility over your case data and help you pick up on increasingly complex “webs” or networks of customer behavior. 

#4 Configurable Workflows for Customer Due Diligence and Transaction Monitoring

Lack of resources is a pervasive challenge for banks when implementing AML protocols. Aspects like CDD and transaction monitoring should be improved over time, but smaller banks rarely have the funds or the ability to engineer hardy systems independently. One of the chief benefits of onboarding a cloud solution for AML is that it allows the client bank’s compliance team to work smarter and in a more lightweight environment—all without draining precious financial and human resources. 

For you and your staff to be at peak performance for CDD and transaction monitoring-related tasks, look for a cloud solution that allows you to configure your workflows according to your needs. This specialist help is the key to enhancing your staff’s diligence at screening your customers and resolving cases of concern in the timeliest possible manner. 

#5 Quick Generation of Customized Regulatory Reports

Many banks see regulatory reporting as a proverbial thorn in their side. But with a cloud solution that can generate accurate and comprehensive financial reports, compliance need not be as tedious as it once was. Using an AML cloud solution to improve your regulatory compliance can save your bank a lot of money on penalties, as well as keep you in good standing with your regulators. 

When looking for a cloud provider for your AML program, ask about the solution’s functionalities for generating compliance reports. If the solution allows you to customize your reports to instantly adhere to different regulatory requirements, you’ll be at advantage in your compliance. Avoid being overwhelmed by any increased difficulties in your compliance journey by onboarding a solution with superior regulatory reporting capabilities. 

Final Words

All in all, you should look for these qualities in your cloud service provider if you want to strengthen your bank’s AML program: creativity and reliability when it comes to improving your systems, and a shared conscientiousness for protecting your assets and your customers from criminal activity. A business partnership that stems from those things is truly worth investing in as the banking sector faces new challenges in combating financial crime.

Would you like to share your thoughts with the planet? You can also write a guest post for Planet Compliance. 

Lavanya Rathnam

Lavanya Rathnam is an experienced technology, finance, and compliance writer. She combines her keen understanding of regulatory frameworks and industry best practices with exemplary writing skills to communicate complex concepts of Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) in clear and accessible language. Lavanya specializes in creating informative and engaging content that educates and empowers readers to make informed decisions. She also works with different companies in the Web 3.0, blockchain, fintech, and EV industries to assess their products’ compliance with evolving regulations and standards.

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