RealPage Payments Services has enhanced efficiencies of its anti-money laundering (AML) team and found it easier to meet regulators’ requests with state-of-the-art reporting capabilities through a partnership with Abrigo. RealPage Payments Services’ Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) Officer & Chief Compliance Officer discusses how BAM+ has been “an excellent investment” for the non-bank financial institution (NBFI).
RealPage Payments Services: How NBFIs Satisfy AML Monitoring Requirements
NBFI implementation success from the start
When BSA Officer and Chief Compliance Officer Ivon Orozco came on board with RealPage Payments Services in 2014, the parent company wanted the AML monitoring program to be manual, using Excel workbooks, with a team of two monitoring what would turn out to be $7B in transaction volume for suspicious activity. When looking for AML vendors, Ms. Orozco stated, the company first started the search with Fintech solutions but ended with a clear decision to go with Abrigo for their AML monitoring solution. “Abrigo not only had BSA professionals selling and consulting on the product, but they also had that domestic support which was a very big deal. If we were going to do this correctly, it had to be with a strong AML vendor that would take those things into account,” said Orozco. During the decision-making process, “I would say do you want a partner, or do you want a vendor? If it’s the former, then you need to go with Abrigo. If all you’re looking for is a vendor to check the boxes and make regulators happy, you can choose any vendor out there to do that, but you’re not necessarily going to get a partner.”
Implementation was a partnership with RealPage from the beginning. “We were expecting excellent performance out of this service offering, but at the same time, we wanted to make sure that we chose the vendor that was going to be with us throughout the life of the product. And that’s what we felt we had with Abrigo,” said Orozco. “We did so much testing with Abrigo that by the time we turned on the production button, things were happening as they should. Abrigo continued to move forward with every additional RealPage license. We started with Texas and North Carolina, and then before we knew it, we had the entire country. Abrigo was able to handle the load; for each transaction volume, Abrigo managed without any hiccups. BAM+ turned out to be an excellent investment.”
"They understand AML"
Vendor relationships should be a partnership, not a one-way connection. “Abrigo is hands-on,” said Orozco. “I’ve had customer support people help me on a Saturday. I don’t have any other vendor in my book of business that does that. Abrigo calls me after hours. I need a solution, and I will get somebody on the phone. That is how quickly they respond, but that is because they understand AML.”
Some of the personal touches that RealPage received during the sales cycle and after included on-site visits. Orozco says, “Abrigo did a great on our on-site visit. They wanted to get to know the building and know the other employees. Abrigo staff interacted with us to understand more about our business. Even though technically our service offering had not been launched yet, Abrigo was boots on the ground doing the background work to get to know what we were about, not just from the AML perspective but our company.”
BAM+ efficiencies and easy audit trails
RealPage found two primary efficiencies using BAM+ that differentiated Abrigo from competitors. “My team loves the one-stop shop for case management,” says Orozco. “We have alerts, cases, and SARS to disposition, and the case management has helped us not just from a team perspective, but from a regulator perspective. You can see what your day will look like and manage your time when you’re in BAM+. You also have a huge safety net when it comes to regulatory deadlines. BAM+ does a great job of alerting you to what is coming up and what you need to prioritize.”
Functionality within BAM+ reporting has also made a significant impact for RealPage. The documentation and dispositioning remarks within the software provide an easy audit trail for management and regulators. “It’s incredibly difficult to turn things around quickly for your regulators,” Orozco states. “Timeliness and accuracy are a huge portion of your exams. BAM+ gives a polished presentation when we show the reports to our auditors and our regulators.”
Enhancing AML Monitoring Program with Abrigo is a Win with Regulators
Over the years, RealPage has utilized Abrigo’s Advisory Services team to develop and update AML risk assessments and system optimizations. Each NBFI has a unique risk profile, and their AML risk assessment and systems should align. Once the risk assessment is up to date and thoroughly documented, a Suspicious Activity Program Optimization ensures the financial institution makes the most of the software and has risk parameters tuned and tweaked to its specific risk without tying up the time of institution staff. “The calibration/optimization is a huge win with our regulators. They like to see that our software goes through a soundness check on a periodic basis,” says Orozco. Abrigo’s Advisory Services team includes industry experts in all aspects of AML monitoring and fraud.