Anti-money laundering (AML) is one of the biggest compliance headaches in financial services, which explains the constant demand for pain relief.
For example, in this year alone two new offers have launched in NZ, tackling the AML analgesic market from different angles.
Early in February, Avid AML went live with a software product targeting small-to-medium businesses. While the company was founded in NZ by Daniel Rogers and Andrew Weston, Avid, however, has global ambitions.
Billed as a “powerful RegTech platform”, Avid has “its sights firmly on emerging markets, where businesses face even greater compliance challenges, as well as the local trans-Tasman region”, according to a release.
Weston, also managing director of NZ software developer Propellerhead (which built the Avid system), said in a statement that the new AML service “integrates securely with data from any source, in any format and analyses, guides and visualizes in real-time to provide the user with actionable insights”.
Co-founder Rogers has several banking roles to his credit in Australia and NZ (including ANZ and National Australia Bank). He also co-founded global compliance firm AML360, serving as its managing director for about two years ending in November 2017.
While Avid is already operating in beta form (although the service has a monthly pricing schedule ranging from $150 to $750), the company is looking to raise capital to underwrite growth.
Rogers said in the release: “… we welcome conversations with future potential partners who can provide the capital as well as the expertise we need to support more small-to-medium businesses tackle the challenges presented by fraud and AML compliance regulations. As well as expertise, the funding from any capital partner will allow us to scale to deliver new features at pace and will enhance scale service delivery.”
But while Avid attempts to break into the global AML market from its NZ base, another business collaboration is focusing on the local market with an education-based cure.
Late in January, the Massey Business School ‘Fin-Ed Centre’ partnered with financial consultancy joint venture Maxima to establish a “first of its kind… new micro-credential”.
According to a statement the new ‘NZ Anti Money Laundering Compliance Officer (NZAMLCO)’ was “developed by New Zealand experts to cater to the New Zealand market”.
Fin-Ed Centre director, Pushpa Wood, said the NZAMLCO course included 50 hours of “structured, self-paced learning” designed to leave participants with a thorough grasp of “New Zealand’s AML/CFT regime as well as global money laundering and terrorism financing issues”.
“Our aim through this course is to take away the mystery and the ‘too difficult to implement’ approach that people have developed over the years towards anti-money laundering compliance requirements,” Wood said.
The ‘micro-credential’ would be of interest to financial advisers, lawyers, accountants and other professionals, the release says.
However, the AML mystery (or misery) remains a topic for debate. In May, for instance, the annual AML Summit (turning six this year) expects to attract over 300 delegates for a two-day event that addresses topics such as a RealMe update, managing disengaged staff and the “misadventures of s59 Audits”.
Prices for the conference, organised by AML Solutions, range from about $400 to $700 (excluding GST) with payment via PayPal: cheques, cash or bitcoin are not accepted.