Know Your Data. (Working Wise)

By Premo, Rita | Security Management, May 2002 | Go to article overview

Know Your Data. (Working Wise)


Premo, Rita, Security Management


Regulations are a part of life for the banking industry. One regulation demanding attention from banks today is the "Know Your Customer" requirement, which says that banks must be able to identify patterns in transaction processing, to understand who the client is (such as where he or she is from and that financial references are legitimate) and to monitor regulatory watch lists.

Union Bank of California International, which performs international correspondent banking from its New York City location, has sought to streamline compliance by automating the process with software.

Because the bank had been using software products from one company with which it had a good relationship, it approached that vendor about its new needs. But to ensure that it was getting the product that would best meet its needs, the bank first looked at alternatives through a request for proposals, says Charlie Pfeiffer, vice president and senior project manager, of Union Bank of California. The original vendor, GIFTS Software, Inc., came out strongest in terms of content, says Pfeiffer, though he also acknowledges that the existing relationship really helped, because the bank liked "not having to reinvent that wheel."

The system is called the GIFTSWEB Enhanced Due Diligence (EDD), an e-banking suite. The EDD system--which is designed to detect possible suspicious activity and to respond to regulatory subpoenas--requires no special software on the client's PC. It is a purely Web-based application that sits on a separate server. Authorized staff get to the information through the bank's own internal network.

EDD has three main modules: One performs online inquiries against a, database of completed payment transactions, to respond to regulators or subpoenas. The second is a payment profiler module that allows investigators to create profiles to identify transactions containing specific information--such as a company name previously used for a fraudulent account--to detect suspicious activity.

The third module is payment patterning; it helps financial institutions develop payment pattern profiles for each customer account or on a global basis. These patterns can then be compared periodically to locate any variances.

EDD is compatible with several of the most frequently used funds-transfer applications. A user can access it via any standard Web browser that supports 128-bit encryption to perform unique inquiries, create regular reports of suspicious transactions, or develop alerts for deviations from an account's standard pattern of activity. …

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