Money laundering has been used by criminals for centuries to conceal illegal transactions. Today's money launderers, however, have developed new and sophisticated maneuvers for covering their cash trails, even as a bevy of international anti-money laundering (AML) regulations have been enacted to put an unprecedented focus on preventing such crimes.
These AML regulations attempt to keep law enforcement ahead of an evolving criminal marketplace at a time when new technologies offer innovative ways to engage in illegal activity. The Dark Web, for instance, offers an incognito trading ground for the purchase of illegal goods, ranging from armed weapons to even human beings. At the same time, the rise of global financial markets, web-based bank-to-bank transfers and hard-to-track Bitcoins and other virtual currency are making it easier for criminals to layer and conceal illegal cash trails despite far-reaching regulation.
Although banks are making significant investments in AML manpower, platforms and processes, regulatory compliance isn't easy. At the core of this problem is inefficient entity resolution and transaction monitoring, which put banks at risk for non-compliance when they aren't able to effectively trace transactions to a single user profile.
Often, individual customers will have multiple accounts with a bank, each of which may contain inaccurate, incomplete or conflicting information, making the vetting process unnecessarily difficult in tracking illegal activity. This makes it almost impossible for investigators to consistently connect illegal or suspicious transactions to a complete customer profile, resulting in a deluge of false positives that can drain any institution's investigative resources.
To more effectively and cost-efficiently comply with AML mandates, banks can deploy software systems that improve entity resolution by finding and linking customer data. This helps investigators to visualize complete, accurate customer relationships. This information should then be presented on a digital platform that paints a full picture of an individual client's history with the bank's networks and the institution itself to help avoid false positives and excess guess work.
Pitney Bowes Entity Resolution for Financial Crimes and Compliance is a software solution that helps banks worldwide more efficiently and cost-effectively detect and investigate financial crimes by creating accurate linkages between data and bank customers. It builds on Pitney Bowes Spectrum® technology and advanced algorithms to provide the find-link-visualize capabilities AML investigators need by leveraging a database of millions of addresses, names and name variations across 143 cultures and 240 geographies.
To learn more about how to thwart money laundering activities and stay up to date with the latest AML regulations, check out a recent seminar on the topic we hosted with the Aite Group, “Combat money laundering through data quality and linkages.” In it, we explore the solutions banks and investigators need in order to comply in an increasingly complex financial marketplace.