Fortifying Your Bank’s AML Compliance

Worldwide, banks have paid over $300 billion in fines since 2008 and this number is set to increase. Regulators have been pressurizing financial institutions to follow compliances stringently and quickly. How can banks stay ahead of AML compliance curve regardless of the pace at which new regulations are issued?



Defending Against Financial Crime in MENA: Insights & Recommendations

Defending Against Financial Crime in MENA: Insights & Recommendations

Alarming revelations on money laundering and banking frauds have emerged in recent reports by Deloitte, Thomson Reuters and PwC, who comprehensively surveyed MENA (Middle East

Defending Against Financial Crime in MENA: Insights & Recommendations


Alarming revelations on money laundering and banking frauds have emerged in recent reports by Deloitte, Thomson Reuters and PwC, who comprehensively surveyed MENA (Middle East & North Africa) nations. While the findings have helped financial institutions in improving resourcing, benchmarking and streamlining regulatory compliance, it has also highlighted certain pertinent concerns.

Here are the top five takeaways from these reports.

  1. From blame game to action
  • Prominent since the last few years, the scenario has changed (from where higher authorities were blamed for ineffective action) towards regulatory compliance. The organization as a whole has moved to action mode, where the focus has changed to better customer due diligence, and leveraging technology to fight money laundering and fraud.
  • Not only does it help Financial Institutions effectively monitor all processes, but also improves employee performance by establishing a pervasive work culture in which strong commitment to professional and organizational goals are given importance without disregarding customer satisfaction.
  • The reports state that despite people in organizations being well aware of decisions taken at the C-level but implementation of the same seems to be lopsided. Short-term lucrative solutions that are often preferred over sound regulatory compliance stand as a major hurdle to the active application of best practices.
  • Implementation of ideal resources at present is one of the toughest strategies in battling financial crime in MENA. Lack of substance in this approach has resulted from the predicament of compliance managers who have to adhere to the latest regulatory standards and at the same time be answerable to management for increased resource utilization.
  • PwC reports more than 20% of financial institutions in MENA have not even carried out compliance assessment programs. This means 1 in 6 financial institutions will eventually experience enforcement actions by regulatory bodies.
  1. Higher investments in sophisticated technologies
  • Technology has become the most preferable option for almost every bank owing to the tediousness of the job of maintaining evolving regulatory standards and dealing with threats posed by fraudsters at the same time. Cybercrime ranked second on the list of major threats.
  • While the cybercrime rate in MENA has reduced by about 7% over 2 years, it still continues to be one of the prominent causes of IT expenditure.
  1. Process reorg
  • Reorganization and updating of processes is the first investment target for financial institutions. Unless all the processes in a financial institution aligned with internationally approved best practices, meeting compliance requirements will be a costly and time-consuming affair. Risk and compliance thus have become the core of enterprise operations in MENA.
  • Once implemented effectively, re-designed processes can help decrease the likelihood of money laundering and several other financial crimes. Although immensely difficult to achieve, especially in prominent businesses where work cultures are strongly established and older practices have prevailed, these changes are crucial for organizations to combat financial crime.
  1. Declining confidence levels in existing/current compliance strategies
  • In 2015, close to 50% of respondents to a survey confidently said that the odds of compliance strategies succeeding are pretty high. Last year, however, only about 6% seemed to be highly optimistic about the same, while 44% had little or no confidence. The steadily declining confidence levels in these strategies are certainly going to make it harder to implement them.
  1. Impediments to policies
  • The top concern till very recently for banks in MENA was reputation. Now the worry is more about regulatory requirements. Possibility of failure in meeting regulatory standards, both local and international, has now occupied the minds of both entrepreneurs and those working in compliance management area.
  • Another major concern is the fear of inadvertent involvement in financial crime activities. Policies in these financial institutions as a result, have been being stalled. Statistics show that around 37% are concerned about compliance with regulatory standards, while 13% are worried about the internal risks that restrict organizations from meeting regulators’ expectations.
  • Another discovery from the Sanctions and Financial Crime Symposium by EY MENA in Dubai, which was attended by over 300 participants combining financial institutions and risk management professionals, is that around 64% of business leaders have an economic crime risk assessment program in place, while about 20% are yet to conduct the same.

These facts serve as an eye-opener for financial institutions in MENA nations. With the nature of financial crimes having become more complex and difficult to detect, the time is right for re-examining current defense strategies and articulating unconventional mechanisms to prevent loss from fraud.
Time for action

  • Speed and precision are the critical cornerstones of fraud prevention. Instead of managing multiple channels individually, banks need to establish a system that can function like the human brain. A system that uses fuzzy logic that quickly summons and synchronizes collective wisdom from across all the channels, understands the context and deliver split-second interventions.
  • In a rapidly changing regulatory landscape, a pro-active and ‘future-proof’ fraud risk management and AML strategy provides agility and predictability for upcoming regulatory compliance mandates.
  • Harness the combined power of current technologies such as AI, ML, Decision Sciences and Real-time Decisions to have a single integrated real-time anti-fraud + AML strategy.
  • With ‘digital’ being the mantra of the day, implement an anti-fraud strategy that dovetails with digital. Banks must understand that fraud management and topline growth are two sides of the same coin. The same real-time intel that prevents fraud can be monetized for generating revenue for the bank.
  • Only a fraction of banking transactions are actually fraudulent. New age anti-fraud solutions understand transactional behavior patterns, which in turn help banks engage customers better and profitably.
  • Step up the fight against fraud to a regional level. A federated approach, specifically a pan-MENA anti-fraud network can be a useful strategy to consolidate, cross-pollinate and share intel among banks in the region.

Sources –

CustomerXPs and Finesse to Showcase Clari5’s ‘Central Nervous System’ based Anti-fraud Shield for Islamic Banking at Seamless Middle East Summit, Dubai

Dubai, 1-2 May 2017. Enterprise Financial Crime Management software product company CustomerXPs along with Finesse, their premier technology partner, will be showcasing their acclaimed product Clari5 at the Seamless Middle East 2017 expo scheduled to be held at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre on 1 and 2 May.

The expo is being held under the patronage of HH Deputy PM & Minister of Interior Lt. Gen. Sheikh Saif Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, and in partnership with Arab Federation for E-commerce, League of Arab States and Council of Arab Economic Unity.

Spanning over 22,500 sqm at the Dubai International Convention & Exhibition Centre, Seamless Middle East is expected to have over 400 exhibitors and over 10,000 attendees. The expo brings together the Middle East fintech ecosystem to debate and evaluate the future of money.

Across 2 days of keynotes, panels, case studies, interviews, demos, roundtables and workshops, attendees will experience the trends, disruptors and innovations that are revolutionising the Middle East fintech industry.

At Seamless Middle East, CustomerXPs will be demonstrating Clari5 – the real-time, cross-channel banking enterprise fraud management innovation declared Best Fraud Detection Product by Clari5 consolidates relevant intelligence from across all channels and business-critical systems of the bank to deliver real-time, contextual and actionable interventions at split-second speed.

CustomerXPs will be showcasing Clari5 at S62, Za’abeel Hall 6. The company will also be demonstrating how banks in the Middle East can combat fraud with a collaborative ecosystem and how a ‘central nervous system’ based anti-fraud shield can help Islamic Banking.

“We are definitely excited to be at Seamless once again. Banks in MENA are attracting attention from global fraudsters and hence there is a need for an ‘anti-fraud’ shield.” said Rivi Varghese, CEO of CustomerXPs. “Leading banks in MENA have already begun adopting our ‘central nervous system’ based cross-channel approach for fighting financial crime via our acclaimed Clari5 suite.”

Sunil Paul, Co-Founder & COO, Finesse added, “Our long-standing partnership with CustomerXPs for taking Clari5 to banks in MENA has proven to be a success. We expect to further consolidate Finesse’s leadership in the region with our association. Together we expect to have an impactful presence at Seamless Middle East.”

Seamless Middle East 2017




1 – 2 May, 2017

  DICEC, Dubai

CustomerXPs and Finesse Showcase Clari5’s ‘Central Nervous System’ based Anti-fraud Shield for Islamic Banking at Middle East’s most prominent Summit. CustomerXPs also showed how banks in the Middle East can combat fraud with a collaborative ecosystem.

MEFTECH, Abu Dhabi



13 – 14 March, 2017

  ADNEC Abu Dhabi

Featuring industry-leading conferences and a focused trade exhibition MEFTECH is the definitive fintech platform where decision-makers in MENA share insights with technology providers and collaborate to rethink financial services. At MEFTECH, CustomerXPs will enable banks in MENA to discover a whole new approach to fraud management.

Read More


IndusInd Bank Wins Celent Model Bank of the Year Award For Growing Revenue While Managing Fraud; Endorsement of Clari5’s ‘Yin & Yang’ Approach to Fraud Management and Cross-sell

IndusInd Bank has won the Celent Model Bank 2017 Global Award for Fraud Management and Cybersecurity for driving a unique initiative, namely how to leverage the investments in fraud management to pay for itself. In the innovation, IndusInd Bank not only implemented the real-time enterprise wide cross-channel fraud and AML management platform, but also began reusing in-memory data to offer simultaneous real-time cross-sell and upsell. IndusInd Bank chose the new generation enterprise approach for fraud management as against the dated and easier channel silo based approach, as it enabled a ‘segment of one’ thinking for everything in the bank and connected 15 Real-time and 7 Batch systems. Clari5 implemented a ‘central nervous system’ that revolutionized IndusInd Bank’s Fraud and AML Management in a very short period, which by itself is a commendable. This prestigious acclaim is a clear endorsement that managing fraud with disparate product and channel solutions in today’s connected digital world is no longer effective. A good fraud management system has to be enterprise wide and must operate in real-time across Products (Cards, Current Accounts, Loans, etc.), Channels (ATM, POS, Branch, Mobile, etc.), Customers, Employees and Third Parties. “Innovative fraud risk management has always been one of our top strategic priorities and so quite naturally, we are excited about this global recognition of our efforts”, said Mridul Sharma, ‎EVP and Head of Technology, IndusInd Bank. He further added, “Clari5’s ‘central nervous system’ not only helped us prevent fraudulent transactions in real-time across channels, but also delivered real-time actionable insights for cross-sell and upsell.” “IndusInd Bank’s implementation of an enterprise-wide fraud and AML management platform is impressive in its own right. However, what really caught our eye is the bank’s innovation to enable simultaneous real-time cross-sell and upsell to customers using the same computed memory of its fraud management platform”, said Zilvinas Bareisis, senior analyst in Celent’s Banking practice. “We are convinced that other banks can learn from IndusInd about the ‘yin and yang’ of fraud management and cross-sell.” “Banking is the only industry in the world, which can claim to have the customer’s soul. However, the dated channel siloed approach for fraud bogs the bank down bigtime. Congrats to the senior management of IndusInd Bank for having the bold vision of a ‘segment of one’ enterprise wide approach. Their meticulous focus on this goal, transformed the bank, which eventually got them global kudos. Clari5 product is great because of great customers like IndusInd Bank.”, said Rivi Varghese, CEO of CustomerXPs. “It is a strong endorsement of a transformational shift from conventional, silo-based, channel-centric approach to one that recognizes fraud and revenue as two sides of the same coin.”

About Celent

Celent is a research and advisory firm dedicated to helping financial institutions formulate comprehensive business and technology strategies. Celent publishes reports identifying trends and best practices in financial services technology and conducts consulting engagements for financial institutions looking to use technology to enhance existing business processes or launch new business strategies. With a team of internationally based analysts, Celent is uniquely positioned to offer strategic advice and market insights on a global basis. Celent is a member of the Oliver Wyman Group, which is a wholly-owned operating unit of Marsh of Marsh & McLennan Companies [NYSE: MMC].

About IndusInd Bank

IndusInd Bank, which commenced operations in 1994, caters to the needs of both consumer and corporate customers. Its technology platform supports multi-channel delivery capabilities. As on March 31, 2017, IndusInd Bank has 1200 branches, and 2036 ATMs spread across 683 geographical locations of the country. The Bank also has representative offices in London, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The Bank believes in driving its business through technology. It enjoys clearing bank status for both major stock exchanges – BSE and NSE – and major commodity exchanges in the country, including MCX, NCDEX, and NMCE. IndusInd Bank on April 1, 2013 was included in the NIFTY 50 benchmark index. Recently, IndusInd Bank ranked 13th amongst the Top 50 Most Valuable Indian Brands 2015 as per the BrandZ Top 50 rankings powered by WPP and Millward Brown.

CustomerXPs to Showcase ‘Human Brain Like’ Real-Time, Cross-Channel Fraud Management at MEFTECH

Abu Dhabi, 8 March 2017. Real-time, Cross-channel Banking Enterprise Financial Crime Management software product company CustomerXPs today announced that it will be showcasing their acclaimed product Clari5 at the upcoming MEFTECH event scheduled to be held at ADNEC, Abu Dhabi on 13 & 14 March.

MEFTECH brings together the entire financial technology community from across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. Featuring industry-leading conferences, a tightly focused trade exhibition and much more, MEFTECH is the definitive platform where top decision-makers share insights with technology providers and collaborate to rethink financial services. Year after year, MEFTECH attracts the MENA financial industry’s best and brightest minds, serving as a conduit for innovative ideas and thinking.

Voted Best Fraud Detection Product by and positioned as Enterprise Solution in Chartis RiskTech Quadrant, Clari5 has the world’s largest implementations and is helping banks in over 8 countries, manage more than 500 million accounts. Clari5 is a non-invasive, real-time, cross-channel system that cross-pollinates intelligence from across all channels and business-critical systems including Core Banking, Loans, Mutual Funds, Cards, POS, ATM Switch, Internet Banking, Mobile Banking, SWIFT, Trade, HR, etc. Its unique architecture ensures horizontal linear scaling using commodity hardware.

Rivi Varghese, CEO, CustomerXPs said, “Banks in MENA are under increasing pressure to quickly detect, prevent and block cross-channel fraud and financial crimes across banking channels, products, and core systems in real-time. The efficacy increases dramatically when the bank unifies all fraud management into a single platform with a ‘central-nervous-system approach’ which ensures that the massive compute and data management is performed in extreme real-time, across all channels and in-line with the transaction itself. I am excited that we have a platform like MEFTECH that allows banks in MENA to discover this whole new approach to fraud management.”

CustomerXPs will be showcasing Clari5 at ADNEC D4, Hall 5 along with Finesse, their premier technology partner for MENA.

IBEX India






19-21 January, 2017

  MMRDA-BKC, Mumbai

India’s most comprehensive trade fair and conference on banking technology and services, IBEX promotes financial inclusion by bringing technologies and services on one platform. With the vision of bridging financial institutions with technology, IBEX India since inception in 2011, is encouraged and supported by the Indian banking sector.