When Considering BSA/AML Software, Ask Yourself…
Not all BSA/AML software systems are created equal. Whether you’re looking for a replacement system or thinking about automating for the first time, there are a few questions to ask yourself throughout the process.
10 Questions to Ask When Considering BSA/AML Software
- Am I doing too much manually? With the increasing expectations of BSA, a highly manual process can fall short. Even some software requires a lot of manual work, which seems to defeat the purpose. Striking a balance between efficiency and effectiveness is key.
- Is my institution growing? Growth is often an indicator of success, but it can result in significant new risks or an increased workload. An institution needs a system that will adapt and withstand the changes associated with growth. Take Woodforest National Bank, for example.
- What were our latest exam results? Consider your regulator’s feedback. Did he or she say it’s time to automate and/or move toward a more robust system? Regulators often know when it’s “time” and they may expect to see improvements by your next exam.
Is our current program risk-based? Some BSA/AML software vendors assume that a “one-size-fits-all” solution is adequate. We know this is not the case. The ability to set parameters and define subsets of customers allows you to take a risk-based approach to suspicious activity monitoring – something which examiners encourage.
- Will I know the “why” behind each alert? Software is intended to enhance your job, not replace it. BSA/AML requires a human element, so you will always want to know why an alert was created. Plus, examiners will ask!
- Is the system easy to use? It seems obvious, right? But if you’re going to be using this system every day, you’ll want to make sure its interface is well-organized, user-friendly and easy to use. You will often find this out by scheduling a demo before making a decision to buy.
- How will it simplify reporting? When preparing reports for the board/senior management, you’ll benefit from choosing a system that provides thorough, easily digestible reports. Plus, the ability to prepare regulatory reporting (SARs, CTRs) in the system is a tremendous time saver.
- What will setup involve? Implementing a new software doesn’t have to be a burden. By working with your IT and qualified, knowledgeable support staff on the vendor’s side, you’ll feel more confident in the entire process.
- Was it built by bankers? As former bankers and regulators, we may be a little biased here. In building BAM+, we built the tool we wish we had when we were bankers! Our team of experts is dedicated to both understanding and addressing your biggest BSA/AML challenges.
- Do we need a rules-based or a behavior-based system? Why not both? Combine the best of both worlds to maximize effectiveness and target known patterns of suspicious activities from several angles.
These questions are just a starting point, but they cover some important areas of choosing the right BSA/AML system. Still have questions? Banker’s Toolbox is here to help! To find out why a system should address these 10 things, visit our website or email firstname.lastname@example.org.