Recently, during a press interview, I was asked to outline what our anti-money laundering customers were asking us that seemed “different” this year than in years past. To me, the answer was obvious. From where I sit, the biggest shift lies in the increased emphasis around significant IT trends – specifically, what will the expected impact of Big Data be on anti-money laundering operations looking ahead?
As we all know, Big Data has been a buzzword which has been building in the technology world for a while now, but financial institutions have been slower to adopt this approach due to their existing, complex, legacy infrastructures (think mainframes) which have not evolved as quickly. Fortunately, financial institutions are now putting together Big Data strategies that address moving away from these legacy systems because of the incredible cost savings these new approaches will provide. In an era of increased profit squeezes, the shift to Big Data infrastructure is designed to provide a considerable lowering of operational costs.
Financial institutions have been asking us how we are integrating our products and working with these new environments. As a database-independent technology provider, we have been well aware of this trend and have a robust strategy moving forward to both enable banks to utilize their Big Data infrastructures within our products as well as enabling our products to work within this new structure. I think that we are clearly on the verge of a paradigm shift for our AML products and we are already focused on rolling out additional cutting edge services and solutions that address this changing Big Data world in the months ahead.
One of the most important changes on the horizon will be our focus on providing support for financial institutions and their Big Data infrastructures to enable quicker and more secure data uploads into the their AML product sets. Initially, this approach is designed to save both time and money. Not only does Big Data provide a cheaper, faster and more secure way to store the data, it also enables us to stay ahead of the criminals in more efficient and innovative way in this ever-escalating financial crime environment.
The anti-money laundering and compliance space has certainly heated up and become increasingly competitive. To meet those challenges, we have been moving diligently to an integrated AML system which plays well to this Big Data strategy. Regulators and financial institutions want to ensure that these systems are talking to each other, being proactive, and are no longer sitting in siloes. The future promises that the four tent poles of AML systems – CDD/KYC, watchlist screening, transaction monitoring and reporting – will all work together in a seamless fashion.
Over the past decade, we have deployed solutions all over the world, and have been “battle tested” by the most extreme circumstances. As regulators expand their reach to cover more verticals adjacent to traditional banking – like casinos, money service bureaus, and insurance –Big Data and all the benefits it stands for, will provide a very significant differentiator in creating positive benefits in the fight against money laundering across all these unique vertical markets.