Check cashers rely on technology every day to operate their businesses. POS technology gathers customer data and checks it against a database. A small scanner collects fingerprints, a security camera monitors the inside and outside of the check cashing outlet, and wifi facilitates internal communication. Based on the chosen service, even more tech works in the background to wire money, reload prepaid debit cards, and pay bills. And now, artificial intelligence (AI) is helping check cashers and financial institutions stay compliant.
Regulators are paying close attention to the nontraditional financial services provided by check cashers and fintech companies. In the past, banks were the primary target for regulators looking to enforce laws and levy penalties. As the alternative financial services industry continues to grow at a steady clip, regulators are taking note. This means that check cashers need to be more diligent about their compliance than ever before.
Check cashing compliance relies on complete customer identification information and the ability of check cashers and banks to identify suspicious activity and patterns. Financial criminals are advancing their techniques for evading detection and outsmarting compliance procedures. The best line of defense against financial fraud is to engage in strict customer due diligence for your customers, especially your first time customers. Thoroughly vetting a new customer using a check cashing process can help check cashers detect red flags before they become full blown financial crime. As financial services evolve and check cashers start to offer online services, this process requires greater coordination.
The most effective way to balance your business with your compliance responsibilities is to build compliance into every business process right from the start. Instead of trying to piece together information on the backend, a successful compliance program coordinates all of the data points across platforms. This requires advanced planning and an investment in technology. If you make the effort, however, you will save thousands of dollars in fines, avoid business closure, and create an efficient and profitable business environment.
Artificial intelligence occurs when a computer simulates human intelligence. When we put AI into action, a machine performs tasks that are normally performed by a human. These tasks can be related to problem-solving, learning how to detect patterns, or spotting anomalies. In order for a computer to “think” like a human, a human has to teach it how to analyze by feeding it data sets. This process of training the computer is called machine learning. As technology creates more and more data, humans are increasingly turning to AI to wrangle it.
When used appropriately, AI helps humans operate more efficiently and catch small details they might miss due to human error. Computers can process huge quantities of data while humans focus on building high level strategy. This partnership brings out the strengths in both parties and works to increase efficiency, improve accuracy, and scale the business. If AI seems abstract, that’s because we often fail to detect it. In reality, AI is already prevalent in our day to day activities.
Professionals are using artificial intelligence to assist in a wide range of activities. AI “journalists” write articles, Siri and Alexa act as lifestyle assistants, Nest learns how to adjust your home climate, and Netflix understands your entertainment preferences. It is no surprise, then, that AI is becoming a fixture in the realm of financial services. When humans are able to rely on AI for complex tasks, including sifting through big data, they free up their time to focus on
As criminals learn new ways to outsmart compliance experts and the amount of data you gather for each transaction grows, check cashing compliance can become unwieldy. AI allows you to cull through every data point quickly without missing a single detail. The fact that AI can help financial institutions with smaller budgets stay fully compliant is a huge added bonus.
Since no AML violate is ever identical to another, 100% detection remains elusive for many financial institutions. Machine learning and AI help bridge the gap with the ability to comb through data points at a granular level. By applying this attention to the smallest detail to every data point within a massive data set, AI can identify discrepancies that humans might miss. And, AI can perform the data analysis at the speed of lightening without employing any additional compliance personnel.
In addition to detecting money laundering, AI is also being deployed to cut off terrorist financing. Machine learning is deployed to detect account anomalies and identify suspicious transactions or behavior patterns. Terrorists rely on financing from their supporters to fund their operations. These financial transactions are often facilitated by alternative financial services. Since the funding is often spread out across many small transactions, it can be hard to detect it on a per transaction basis. AI can aid in the detection of the larger pattern of suspicious behavior.
Check cashing businesses are juggling a growing number of compliance regulations and the increased data that comes along with them. While AI is promising for the future of check cashing compliance, it is not universally available. In the immediate future, check cashers can arm themselves with the technology solutions that are currently available.
In order to stay compliant and operate efficiently, check cashers need:
NCC works alongside check cashing businesses to provide all 5 of these requirements. With decades of industry experience, the professionals at NCC know the ins and outs of check cashing. Their pristine compliance record is directly attributed to their advanced check cashing technology, robust approach to compliance, and unprecedented network of banking partners. The NCC difference starts with a real check cashing bank account for every client. This forges the strong foundation on top of which NCC builds a smart compliance program. NCC’s check cashing experts bring total peace of mind to their clients through 24/7 customer service.