In today’s environment, a sharp focus on risk management and due diligence is vital for every institution. Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance can be a very manual process. Financial institutions often will purchase BSA/AML, Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) and fraud detection systems to support their compliance with regulations and other legal requirements. In recent years, many BSA/AML and fraud detection systems employ artificial intelligence (AI) to monitor a bank customer’s activity to learn, create trends and define their normal account activity. Recently, Randall Reid, IT Security Operations Officer at the Bank of Abbeville and Trust Company (Off-site) used the import/export feature in FedPayments Manager – Funds application to find a solution.
The Bank of Abbeville and Trust Company has been locally owned and operated in Abbeville, Louisiana, for over 100 years. They have three branches and have adapted to the needs of their customers, providing them with a range of services and looking forward to many enhancements in the years to come. The institution uses FedLine Advantage® to originate 20 wires per day, on average. Despite this volume Reid noted, “Our BSA officer was having a difficult time balancing the day-to-day work and keeping track of transactions… tracking all this information was a nightmare.”
Reid and his team implemented a software solution for BSA compliance. During the setup, transaction information would flow into the software, but the wire information was not loading automatically. Reid said, “The software vendor mentioned they had several Fed customers use Federal Reserve services to download the incoming and outgoing wire information. Then we could import the wires and the process would be automated.” So, Reid reached out to his Federal Reserve account executive to work through possible solutions.
Identify the right solution
Originally, his account executive suggested the FedTransaction Analyzer® tool, which offers access to historical wire transactions and helps with manual reporting processes. However, this service provides next-day delivery and the file formatting may differ from the software provider. After a few more conversations with his account executive, the two found the right solution that helped them and could help other institutions as well: the FedPayments Manager — Funds import/export feature.
“There are many services the Federal Reserve offers, and while they are great options they weren’t exactly what I needed to interact with our software,” Reid stated. “Once we figured out exactly what we needed and set it up it was a success.”
Reid touts the time-saving aspect of using the import/export feature, “Now it’s a few clicks and we get all our information and can include it with our other transactions. I would say it saves us about a week of time in a 30-day period. Even if you don’t have a software solution but need to access the wires, then you should subscribe to this service.”
Reid used available Federal Reserve resources such as his account executive and the Wholesale Testing Unit. While he did not need to test for the setup, he was able to discuss how to improve the data export. “When you download the file initially, all the wire data – so around 20 wires in our case – was all exported to a single line. We chatted with the Wholesale Testing Unit and they showed us how to update our settings, so each wire was its own line. Once we selected that it was updated instantly and allowed us to import the wire transactions into the software moving forward. It was that simple.”
Contact your account executive
After seeing the success of the Bank of Abbeville, more account executives are consulting with institutions about this possible solution. Contact your account executive to discuss setting up and testing the import/export feature in the FedPayments Manager — Funds application.