Why goAML is changing AML and SARs

By 8 minute read

SAR reporting is one of the most difficult aspects of the compliance and transaction monitoring process. The UNODC is trying to make it simpler with goAML.

Reporting requirements for firms operating in the finance sector are growing more and more stringent with the passing of new anti-money laundering regulations, but adapting to goAML offers a potential solution.

These requirements are being implemented on a global scale and come with much wider scopes and more punitive actions attached than has ever been seen before.  

This can largely be contributed to the growing incidence of financial crimes, particularly money laundering and terrorist financing, that has come about as a result of the digital transformation of online banking and payment processing services. This is because it’s now easier than ever for criminals to launder their money and commit other serious offences—and they’re taking full advantage.  

Although most firms are aware of their compliance obligations in the modern age of money laundering and keep on top of fulfilling reporting requirements, such as notifying the relevant agencies when potential money laundering is detected on a customer account, there needs to be a centralized system for receiving and processing these reports.  

What is goAML? 

The goAML application is a fully integrated software solution developed specifically for use by financial intelligence units (FIUs). It is one of United Nations’ Office on Drugs and Crime’s (UNODC) strategic responses to financial crime, including money laundering and terrorist financing. 

FIUs play a core role in AML and are generally responsible for receiving, processing, and analyzing reports made by financial institutions or other entities according to the requirements of domestic AML regulations. The information contained in these reports, in addition to other data gathered by FIUs, often provide the basis for investigations into money laundering, terrorist financing, and other serious financial crimes. 

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Built by the UNODC’s Information Technology Service (ITS) to streamline the reporting process, goAML has been specifically designed to meet the data collection, management, analytical, document management, workflow and statistical needs of FIUs.  

GoAML encourages all countries to form their own FIUs to serve as national centers for receiving and analyzing suspicious transaction reports (STRs) and financial data in order to detect, identify and block serious financial crime.  

Why FIUs use goAML for SARs 

It’s estimated that more than 50 nations are currently using goAML. This includes Mexico, New Zealand, Ireland, Luxembourg, and Nepal, in addition to nations across Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean. 

There are several reasons why an FIU might decide to use goAML to collect and report AML information via SARs. This includes the fact that goAML is a feature-rich platform that supports the collection of suspicious activity reports (SARs), suspicious transaction reports (STRs), currency transaction reports (CTRs), and other types of regulatory reports. These features include:  

  • Data collection processing 
  • Reporting infrastructure 
  • Structured analysis (strategic and tactical) 
  • Profiling and rules-based analysis 
  • Task assignment and tracking 
  • Document management 
  • Intelligence file management 
  • Integration and/or data acquisition 

On top of these features, goAML includes a web application that provides secure web-based communication between FIUs and reporting institutions. It also enables reports to be completed, submitted and attached via secure email. 

Why goAML is important 

GoAML is a highly effective reporting function that has the potential to become the gold standard for submitting SARs and other critical information to regulatory bodies.  

With FIUs in more jurisdictions choosing to adopt goAML, in addition to the fact that the UNODC has made it clear that regulators are not responsible for data quality issues, it comes down to financial institutions to collect the appropriate data and verify its quality. As such, these institutions will have to make more significant investments into improving the quality of their data.  

Sitting at the core of AML and other efforts to fight financial crime, transactional data is arguably one of the most important things to get right. Meanwhile, many firms still use outdated, human-led processes supported by outdated legacy technologies for their transaction monitoring; this simply doesn’t cut it in the modern age of e-banks and unprecedented, widespread access to financial services.   

Streamline your transaction monitoring process

Sentinels makes real-time transaction monitoring a simple and more accurate process by providing firms with constant 360-degree automated coverage. Our tool streamlines compliance workflows to allow efficient and confident decision-making. 

If you’re interested in how a tool like this could support your compliance team, request a free demo of our transaction monitoring solution today.  

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