One of the greatest challenges for financial institutions is how to comply with regulations which are changing faster than ever in a volatile geopolitical and economic environment.

Regulations around financial crime such as Anti-Money Laundering, bribery and corruption are particularly fast-moving with regular tweaks to the rules and new sanctions imposed on individuals, organisations and countries every day.

The only way for companies to have confidence in their compliance is through digital solutions.

Fintechs are not only disrupting long-established business models but we are also changing the way companies comply with regulatory obligations in a way that doesn’t create any friction for the end customers.

The main barrier to a good user experience for businesses is an efficient and fast customer onboarding process that is compliant with Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations.

Ebury operates in more than 20 different countries with different regulatory requirements and fulfilling these successfully without process automation and machine learning would be impossible.

Our compliance focus is on:

● Automating repetitive tasks that allow our KYC experts to focus on exceptions and cases that require further, more detailed investigation;

● Maximising the potential of digital tools that improve our compliance to regulatory requirements, such as identity verification, without sacrificing our user experience; and finally

● Using machine learning to help us process large amounts of quickly-changing information to ensure no malicious transactions or accounts slip through the net.

We do not develop all these solutions in-house – instead, we partner with external specialist providers that aggregate the expertise of their dealings with customers and embed it into their solutions.

For example, we recently went live with Fenergo as a client lifecycle management solution, and integrated tools such as Jumio for identity verification and LexisNexis Bridger for name screening, among others. We also make use of ComplyAdvantage’s technologies for transaction monitoring to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of our own checks.

The problem of identifying malicious actors within a large volume of transactions across clients spread all over the world and transacting internationally is akin to finding a needle in a haystack. So, for a global organisation like Ebury the ability to do simple things such as doing the screening in the native language, say Chinese, is vital.

Comparing negative headlines, infamous politically-exposed people or sanctioned people with your customer base can require a degree of fuzzy matching – comparing apples and oranges, to a degree.

This can lead to the team processing many alerts that are not relevant.

In this case, the key to finding the needle is not looking harder or longer but rather reducing the size of the haystack with the right technological solution and expert partners.

At Ebury, we are always working with our providers to improve the quality of the alerts that are raised. For example, we recently upgraded our inbound screening solution which resulted in a substantial drop in the number of internal alerts while increasing the actual number of actions taken due to an increasing proportion of alerts being correct.

It is undeniable that the ability to focus on exceptions and value-added decisions is not only crucial in achieving to achieve regulatory compliance but ultimately in scaling up our business globally.

Skilled people are in short supply in any industry, so making the best use of their time is a central company objective. This also includes technology solutions for e-learning, ensuring the rest of the Ebury family is able to help us meet our regulatory requirements as fast and efficiently as possible.

My final recommendation? Any company in digital banking should be investing in process automation tools that allow their key employees to focus on making critical decisions while providing clients with a fast and enjoyable experience.