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Remittance & Payments: the impact of different compliance needs across financial institutions

Financial crime is not easy to stop. According to a recent PwC report, 47% of global businesses have experienced fraud, corruption, or other forms of economic crime in the past 24 months. Although legal and regulatory procedures are used to prevent criminals from disguising illegally obtained funds as legitimate income, more work needs to be done.

In terms of product development, many companies are exploring ways to join the fight against financial crime but are often tasked with catering to a broad variety of different client needs. As a result, regtech solutions looking to help businesses achieve compliance must be flexible enough to suit a multitude of industry segments.

Fortunately, as the fintech space has developed, a number of businesses have emerged that can help tackle financial crime. Those regtech companies help payment service providers (PSPs), like PanPay, Paydoo, UNIPaaS and Buckaroo as well as remittance providers, including Bel.money, UnityLink and Worldfirst to stay compliant and efficiently detect and report suspicious transactions.

For any company involved in the financial services industry today, achieving compliance is essential. No fintech is the same though so it is crucial to understand the high-level differences between, for example, payments and remittances- two financial concepts that are easily conflated.

Payments

Looking specifically at payments, PSPs provide different options to process payments online. Examples of these payment methods include credit card transactions, bank transfers, iDEAL, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and many more. As gatekeepers, most of PSPs focus on obtaining a 360-view of their clients and the activities of their client’s customers. PSPs must efficiently evaluate clients during the onboarding process and update their profiles with the latest information.

This is has been even more challenging with the rapid growth of the payments space, driven by the surging popularity of alternative payment methods. For example, Much Better mobile pand Klarna, the buy-now-pay-later giant, all recently expanded their services into new areas of the payments space.

Remittance

Separate from PSPs, remittance companies facilitate the transfer of money between two individuals internationally. For example, this could involve a payment made by a migrant worker to his or her family in their home country. For remittances, the focus is on being able to perform real-time AML and screening checks.

In the B2B remittance space, there are a few companies that are challenging the existing infrastructure and building new routes for efficient money flow. Organizations like Thunes, Nium, and TerraPay have already made a name for themselves in this market.

Similarities and differences

Although it’s important to differentiate between payments and remittances, the two concepts do share some similarities. Particularly in terms of AML and transaction monitoring, service providers in both fields will find commonalities in identifying and reporting financial crime. Cross-border transactions are also common to both. As a result, some businesses do cover both fields. For example, Thunes recently acquired Limonetik to extend its offering from B2B remittance to payments. Similarly, TerraPay already operates in the payments space.

One example of how payments and remittances differ from one another is in terms of how debtors and creditors are treated during a transaction. For a PSP, the debtor is almost always a consumer that purchases from a merchant, like an online shop. While with remittances, anyone can be both a debtor and a creditor.

At Sentinels, we create one tool to rule them all. To do so, we assign roles, such as a ‘sender’ and ‘receiver’ for each transaction. Analysis and profiles can then be built for all entities involved in transactions, regardless of whether they are the debtor or creditor. It works for both PSP use-cases, as well as for remittance companies and banks.

With such diverse customer segments, transaction monitoring must keep in mind the specific needs of each industry while delivering the highest level of transaction monitoring. Whether you are a PSP or remittance provider, that’s what Sentinels provides.

Interested in how we do it at Sentinels? Get in touch!