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Monday, June 21, 2021

ThetaRay, Google Cloud tackle AML

AI-based solutions provider ThetaRay disclosed June 15, 2021, that SONAR, its anti-money laundering (AML) solution for cross-border payments, is available as a subscription service on Google Cloud. The solution is designed to help financial institutions, fintechs and third-party service providers detect and mitigate money laundering activities in cloud-based environments, representatives from both companies stated.

Mark Gazit, chief executive officer at ThetaRay, observed a recent spike in new attack vectors, as money launderers, human traffickers and criminals took advantage of pandemic-related disruptions. "As a product-driven company, we are excited to offer a solution that accelerates speed-to-value and reduces the cost of acquisition, and we are thrilled to partner with Google Cloud to solve industry challenges that have been difficult to solve with previous generations of technology," he said.

Chris Arisian, director of ISV partnerships at Google Cloud, agreed ThetaRay's SONAR can help Google Cloud users "build and scale their digital infrastructure, securely and safely."

Artificial intuition squared

Shaun Smith-Taylor, senior director and global head of solutions at ThetaRay, pointed out that SONAR uses a proprietary technology called Artificial Intuition to analyze traffic, risk indicators and client/payer/payee data across complex, cross-border transaction paths. In addition to rapidly identifying known and unknown money laundering threats, the service is easy to integrate and deploy, he stated.

"AML typologies are difficult to detect but the major issue is that current rules-based controls are broken and aren't fit for purpose," Smith-Taylor said. "You can't detect a new AML typology based on a human's knowledge, unless they can see into the future."

Smith-Taylor further noted that regulators grasp AI's power and are advocating broader use. The Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental body that sets international standards against money laundering and terrorist financing activities, has in fact stated that tools designed to monitor, detect and remediate financial crimes should be risk-based and not rules-based, he stated. Rules-based architecture only places controls around activities that have already occurred while risk-based, AI and unsupervised machine learning can detect new AML typologies and unknown activity before they happen, he explained.

Real-time solutions

Smith-Taylor went on to say that ThetaRay's SONAR subscription service offering in Google Cloud can help enterprises monitor complex networks efficiently and in real time while driving revenue growth by boosting approved transaction rates. By consuming transactional data in raw form across SWIFT, SEPA and Fedwire, the AI-based SONAR platform analyzes risk indicators and typologies against 19 patented unsupervised machine learning algorithms to identify unknown activity, he stated. 

"The unknown activity is then populated in our case management UX for analysts to review," he said. "Alerts can also be sent to internal case management systems via existing API's."   While SONAR is available off the shelf, it can also be customized by participating banks, fintechs and financial service providers, Smith-Taylor noted. Depending on user requirements, the solution can usually be implemented in about six to eight weeks, he added.

Additional information about ThetaRay's unique approach to protecting cross-border payments is available at www.thetaray.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/EP_CB_GB-Feb-2021-4-1.pdf end of article

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