International, complex entities: 6 steps to choosing the right AML provider

Choosing the right provider for your business is no small feat, and the stakes are even higher when it comes to the highly legislated and ever changing world of AML. 

With the rise of artificial intelligence, machine learning compliance specialists are faced with a dizzying array of options that may or may not enhance AML processes. But how do you choose the right fit for your business? And how do you know if the latest tech is help or hype?

We’ve put together six key things to look out for when evaluating AML providers, especially if you work with international clients or complex entities

1. Global data sources

Firstly, understand the specific data needs of your business so as to avoid ‘vendor sprawl.’  Identify the types of information you require and the countries in which you, and your clients operate then choose a vendor who includes those relevant data sources as part of the platform fee.

For example, if you predominately work with international clients, an AML provider that has multiple data sources across a number of countries is key to keeping costs down while meeting compliance requirements.

2. Quality of data sources

Not all data sources are created equal. For example, one provider may span multiple countries, yet their data is manually collected via ‘data farms’ leading to it quickly becoming stale or obsolete. While at the other end of the scale, some data sources are automatically scraped from government sources on an hourly basis. 

Equally, some data sources have wide coverage in large countries but minimal in smaller ones. 

Based on your data needs, consider a provider that: 

  • sources and refreshes their data in line with your risk appetite 
  • has  extensive coverage of the countries in which your clients are based, 
  • can provide the types of documents or information you need in the format you want. 

It is standard practice to ask providers to supply you with a list of their data sources, so that you can evaluate the quality of them.

3. Document & language coverage

Consider a provider’s document and language coverage. Let’s say your customers are based in China, and they do not speak enough English to understand why or how to complete their AML checks. Ensure that your provider can provide the necessary international documents and support multiple languages, so you can effectively communicate with clients and assess risks associated with them.

4. Compliant with international regulations

When choosing a provider, ensure that they are compliant with international regulations, such as FATF (Financial Action Task Force) and GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), on top of local UK legislation. This will help you stay compliant with the latest regulations and protect your business from legal, reputational and financial risks.

5. Data security

Data security is crucial. Especially when dealing with your client’s most important information - their identity. Ensure your provider has robust security measures in place to protect sensitive client information and prevent data breaches.

Look for providers that are ISO27001 or SOC2 certified, as these are the international gold standard for cyber security. Other ‘table stakes’ security features include:

  • Secure web forms for data collection
  • End to end encryption, both at rest and in transit
  • Robust privacy policies
  • Regular third party penetration testing

6. Support and experience

The experience that you receive, as a customer of a platform, should also be a major deciding factor in your hunt for the right AML provider. 

Look for a platform that provides comprehensive customer support, including online resources, email support, and phone support. A positive experience will ensure that you have access to the support you need when you need it, and that you can effectively use the data and platform to perform effective AML checks. Consider reaching out to current customers for their experiences and reviews.

About First AML

First AML simplifies the entire anti-money laundering onboarding and compliance process. Its SaaS platform, Source, stands out as a leading solution for organisations with complex or international onboarding needs. It provides streamlined collaboration and ensures uniformity in all AML practices.

First AML transforms an otherwise complex and manual process into one that is simple, cost-effective, and compliant for businesses. By delivering efficiency and time savings, it protects reputations and enables companies to stay on the right side of history in the face of global threats.

Keen to find out more? Book a demo today! No time for a long demo? No problem. See what Source by First AML can do for your business in 2 minutes – watch the short demo here.