Podcast June 30, 2020

Everything you need to know about AML compliance

You’ve created an amazing financial brand. 

You have big ideas and so much work to do. 

But now you have to worry about everyone’s favorite topic: Compliance. 

OK, it’s not the sexiest topic and, if you don’t know what you’re doing, it can end up taking over all of your time. 

Luckily, on today’s show, we have Matt McGuire, Co-Founder and Practice Leader at The AML Shop. He’s here to explain how his company makes it easier for companies to spend more time on their business and less on making sure they are compliant.

Matt goes over:

  • How you should think about compliance
  • How companies like The AML Shop address compliance issues
  • How to approach compliance across borders

Compliance isn’t sexy, but it’s important

Here at Currencycloud, we like to joke that, when it comes down to it, we’re really a compliance company. Although, it’s not that much of a joke since, well, compliance is about 30% of our work. 

Matt says this is the norm across any financial institution.

“For a financial services company, whether you’re an old-school institution, a challenger bank or Fintech, compliance is table stakes.” — Matt McGuire

But there are good reasons for this. 

Right now, the financial system is at the foundation of any country’s economy. So, whether you’re providing those services online or from a brick-and-mortar company, compliance is essential.

Repetitional risk is a real present danger to both our economies and your institution.

Yet, it’s still kind of a drag making sure you are compliant in your jurisdiction (or across multiple jurisdictions). Essentially, you need to look at the cavalcade of rules, figure out what applies to you and what doesn’t.

First, you need ask yourself a few questions:

  • How do you approach it in the most intelligent way given your business model?
  • How do you plan on leveraging technology?
  • How will you be efficient?
  • How will you reduce customer friction?

That last one is the most important, really.

People on the internet are not going to put up with many extra clicks or processes after years of getting Rick-Rolled, right?

How The ALM Shop addresses compliance for fintechs

Matt and his team at The ALM Shop try to make sure to limit the amount that clients have to be on-boarded for compliance.

They leverage open banking, the latest in KYC products and streamline what information you collect and who you collect it from. 

The core of what they do is building regulatory compliance programs that can cross borders, make regulators happy and, most importantly, make financial service providers happy. 

Another area they are heavily involved in is doing audits.

If a company already has a program in place, it’s not enough just to show it on a PDF outlining that they know what compliance they’re supposed to be doing and doing it.

You need to actually prove it’s working. 

You need to prove you are managing the risks you set up to manage and you are complying with the rules you are supposed to comply with. 

The AML Shop will conduct audits to make sure there’s no money laundering, terrorist financing or violation of sanctions — stuff Matt is familiar with from his experience with Canadian Intelligence.

Yeah, Matt is basically the Jack Ryan of Canada.  

Fintechs can innovate at a far greater pace, with their finger closer to the pulse of the folks that they’re dealing with.” — Matt McGuire

Finally, the company also provides outsourced AML services. This is great, because it lets Fintechs stop being compliance companies and get on with building their business.

You know, the thing they are supposed to be doing?

The cross-border regulatory quandary

One of the biggest advantages companies like The AML Shop really provides its clients is the ability to navigate the complicated world of compliance across borders. 

Anyone in finance knows the world is shrinking in terms of where your customers are. No longer are challenger banks, Fintechs or other financial institutions limited by invisible lines on a map.

Well, except for the regulations within those invisible lines. 

“The financial services market is becoming borderless, but we still have multi-jurisdictional issues.” — Matt McGuire

We all need to think globally, but that can be a tremendous headache. 

Especially when, as a foreign player, it’s a lot more politically expedient for the local authorities to go after your company than your counterparts in the region. 

So, The AML Shop helps craft compliance and legislative structures for companies to adopt that allows them to be compliant in multiple jurisdictions at once. 

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Until next time!



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