Financial Crime Risk Management With Jaime Ramirez Of Preventor
Financial crime is a challenge faced by all businesses, but particularly for financial organizations such as banks, fintechs, and payments businesses.
What are the keys to successfully approaching Financial Crime Risk Management (FCRM)? Jaime Ramírez, CEO of Preventor, joins the show to offer key insights. Preventor is the next generation self-service digital identity and fraud prevention collaborative platform for individuals, businesses, and governments… they’re leading the charge in the fight against financial crime. Listen along to learn how!
Payments & Fintech Insights In This Episode
- What the scope of financial crime is globally.
- What challenges financial organizations face when it comes to Financial Crime Risk Management or FCRM.
- The story behind Preventor and how their services work, particularly when it comes to identity verification.
- Where FCRM and tools/technologies designed to help organizations navigate it may be headed in the future.
- Jaime’s thoughts on regtech, payments, and their intersection with financial crime prevention tools.
- With so much more!
Featured on the Show
- Connect with Jaime Ramirez: LinkedIn | Twitter
- Connect with Preventor: LinkedIn | Twitter | Facebook| Instagram | YouTube
- Connect with the Show: LinkedIn | Facebook | Twitter
- Subscribe to the Show: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Podcasts | Show Hub
Scott: Hey, PayPod listeners. Scott, here with you yet again, and welcome to another fantastic podcast episode, where we cover key topics in the world of payments and fintech. On this episode, we’re gonna be continuing our discussion on financial crime by focusing on risk management, as well as some of the tools that can make combating financial crime much, much more effective. My guest on the show who has some excellent insights to offer up is Jaime Ramirez, who is the CEO of Preventer. And Preventer is the next generation self-service, digital identity, and fraud prevention collaborative platform for individuals, businesses, and governments. So they are doing a lot of exciting stuff. And there’s a lot to cover here. So let’s just jump right on in. Jaime, welcome to the show.
Jaime: Thank you, Scott. Thank you for inviting me. I’m here to answer your questions.
Scott: Well, thank you for being here. I always like to start the discussion with a big question. So let’s just dive right in with that. Why is financial crime risk management or FCRM such an important thing for fintechs and other organizations to focus on? If I was putting it another way, Jaime, what’s the scope of financial crime when you look at it globally?
Jaime: Yeah. I mean, it’s a big question. I would say that financial crime, first of all, is a multi-trillion dollar business for criminal organizations. And it’s mandatory right now for all financial services globally. So, each jurisdiction has their own regulations and norms that any financial service or fintech has to follow. But financial crime right now is a threat for governments, for financial services, and basically, is something that any financial services has to follow. It’s not an option. They need to follow the rules and regulation and they’re audited at the end of the year.
Scott: Right. So you have these kind of two pieces. One, it’s a huge business, in terms of, for the criminals. We’re talking trillions of financial crime happening. And then you have, yes, this requirement. You have regulations. If you are a financial organization, you have to have solutions around this. And it’s also a really good idea because, of course, it could be bad for your business if you have customers or partners or whatever it may be becoming victims of financial crime. So, okay. So, we’ve laid out yes, it’s important. It’s essential. What are some of the challenges when you look at the landscape right now, Jaime? What are some of the challenges that financial organizations, I guess, face when it comes to FCRM? Where are some pain points?
Jaime: Based on my experience, the most pain points that financial organizations face are the internal mindset of all the people that work on the financial organization. To combat the financial crime is basically a collaboration of all the people that are working inside, starting from the first line of business, which is the customer service, then the second line of business, which is the compliance department, but everyone has to be involved on how to deal with this. Besides technology, besides any tools that the financial services need to have in place, is basically procedures, anti-money laundering programs that they need to have, and they need to be all of the people that are working on the financial organization has to agree, has to be, you know, working together on this.
Scott: I think you made such a great point with saying that that’s one of those biggest challenges because it feels like often in organizations, be they in finance, be they payments, be they in something completely different, sometimes people don’t take financial crime and the procedures. Maybe it’s kind of, “Oh, this is a pain. Okay. We’ll tack it on at the end. Yeah, we’ll do the thing to make the regulation,” as opposed to baking it in as, “No, this is core to what we do.” I’m thinking right now of my time when I worked at a movie theater and when someone would hand you a $20, we had the little marker that you would go to make sure that, you know, it wasn’t a counterfeit $20. And it was always kind of an eye roll that we would have, like, “Ah.” But then there was one time I did it and, whoop, that was counterfeit. And so I think it shows you the importance of those procedures of sort of having that as, “Hey, this is baked into what we do.” Would you say that’s a fair way to look at it?
Jaime: Yes. Because normally, for banks, for example, that they’ve been following the regulations for a long time or, you know, since 9/11, they already have all the procedures in place. Basically, they have all these mindset inside of the organization. For new financial services like fintechs, you know, there is a lot of fintechs right now, fintechs are very important part of the…or have to combat the financial crime, right? But for fintechs, especially, they’re not focused on how to mitigate the financial crime at the beginning. They pay more attention to the business, which is good, but they don’t pay attention to how to mitigate any possible fraud with any kind of business that they do, either payments, loans, exchange, or any other financial services. So, they’re always thinking that that’s not important and that they can do it at the end. But it’s not correct, you know, you have to have your program since the beginning, and it will be easier, and it will be less expensive too.
Scott: That’s exactly a very good point, less costly, and you build it in from the word go, because it’s a lot harder to then kind of go back through and say, “Oop, we missed this, this, this, and this, how do we get it right?”
Scott: Now, Preventer offers solutions that can help with this, with just… There’s the technological side, I would say in terms of crime risk management and all of this. For those who are unfamiliar, can you share a bit more about Preventer’s story and really how you can help organizations navigate this financial crime risk management we were talking about, identity, all of this?
Jaime: Yes, of course. At Preventer what we have is a complete end-to-end lifecycle management, which we prevent the fraud or the anti-money laundering since the beginning, since you onboard the customer up to the end when you need to report the suspicious activity to your authorities. What we do is that at the onboarding, we make sure that the person that you’re gonna onboard as a customer is the person that basically tells you that it is, especially today that most of the business are doing it remotely. So you need to identify the person digitally, basically, because most of the time, the person is not in front of you. Then after we do the complete screening against the global sanctions lists, anti-corruption, terrorists, narcotraffic, etc., then we do the Know Your Customer. We also can help in the transaction monitoring or anti-money laundering programs. And then we can do, like I said, we can help the financial services to do the case management and to report any suspicious activity to the regulators.
Scott: Wow. So very much covering a lot of the bases, if not all of the bases, or certainly most of them, when it comes to financial crime and making sure that there’s those compliance elements in there and all of that. I wanna dig into maybe some more of the specific solutions you have. And I wanna start with your identity verification solutions, kind of highlighted those at the top. And again, we’re talking about payments in fintech, but this can be for governments, there’s just general individuals. There’s so many different applications to this. But why is identity verification such a crucial area to get right? And how great is the risk with identity fraud for financial organizations?
Jaime: It’s the entry point, right? So in technology, you say that, you know, “Garbage in, garbage out.” So, if you don’t verify that the person that you’re gonna start working with is the right… First of all, it has to be the right person. It is the person that owns the identities, the person that says who it is, so you need to identify that. But not only is to identify the person, is to know who the person is. If the person is a potential terrorist, is it somebody that is on the sanctions list that are later on, you will have a big problem with your authorities because you didn’t filter, you didn’t screen that person. So you need to start with that. At this time, that most of the businesses are doing remotely, the digital identity verification is crucial. It’s needed. It’s a must. It’s not a wish anymore. It’s not only to prevent fraud but also to gain business. Now, if you don’t do remote business today, basically you are in disadvantage with the competence. So you need to have some kind of that.
Scott: It’s such a good point. It used to be like, “Okay. Yeah. This is nice to have.” Now it’s like so, so essential. And if you don’t have a way to whatever your business may be, if you’re a fintech, or whatever it is, if you don’t have a way, well, we can’t digitally identify someone, we need them to physically come in. It’s like, “Good luck to you.” Because you’re gonna have some trouble. Can you break down how your identity verification solutions work and really what the onboarding process is like because I find that so many fintechs, banks, payments organizations, other businesses are so focused on providing this sort of seamless experience for their customers? So how does your identity verification solutions really fit into that goal?
Jaime: Yeah, of course. What we do is, first of all, we streamline that processing, has to simple, but accurate. Efficiency, but as simple for the end-user. So the entire process doesn’t need to last more than 60 seconds. So, in 60 seconds, we verify the customer by asking to scan any government-issued ID that they have. We cover more than 9,800 different types of government-issued IDs from more than 248 countries and territories in 138 languages. So basically, we can scan and we can authenticate any type of government issue ID. Then after that, the customer has scanned the government issue ID, we ask the end-user to take a selfie, which automatically would take more than one selfie, and then we biometrically verify that the person first of all is alive.
We have a license detection. Then after we match that person, the selfie against the documents, so now after that we are ready, authenticate that document, that is authentic. It’s not altered. It’s not fraud, plus that the person is alive, and both match, we extract the content of the document. We cross all the information, and then we can complete the onboarding of the customer. So, basically, just by taking a scan of the government issue ID and the selfie, we verify the identity and we complete all the information from the customer. So, right after, any fintech can do any transaction. They can open an account. They can open a wallet and they can do any payment after that.
Scott: That’s fantastic. And as you were mentioning, you know, kind of the whole goal of just being seamless and everything I think that’s really key. And I love all the different countries that you are matching it against. So really, really robust solution there. I’m curious because we were talking a little bit about this in terms of having everyone aligned. But I’m curious if there are maybe other, I guess, keys to getting things right when we’re talking about getting that financial crime risk management, you know, onboard in an organization. What are some of the best practices beyond just having the tools and the partnerships and having everything aligned? Are there any other sort of keys?
Jaime: Well, like I mentioned before, first of all, is to be aligned, you know, the mindset. Then after you need to have an anti-money laundering program. Normally it’s being done by the compliance officer. So any compliance consultant that fintech has. And that what you do is that you have to detail the procedures that you’re going to do in your services. And on each procedures, you have to have controls.
You have to have procedures of how to solve any issue and those steps has to be in writing. And like you mentioned, then after you decide which kind of technology you need, which kind of solution do you need… But first, before you choose for any technology or tools to help the fintech, you need to identify your business, your procedures. How are you gonna mitigate each step? And then you said, “Okay. This is what I need and this is the best business partner that I’m gonna choose.”
Scott: Right. Exactly. Your platform is powered by AI. And we’ve talked a bit about AI on this show. And I’m just constantly fascinated with all the developments in it and how it applies to so many different areas, but certainly, financial technology. So, AI has seen its adoption, as I mentioned, but it’s been applied to risk management and finance, in general. How do you leverage AI to power your solutions, specifically? What does AI really do for Preventer?
Jaime: Well, today, AI you use in every procedures. You know, since the identity verification, you need to have AI to learn or to have automated, some verification process at the beginning to identify, first of all, if it’s a face, or they’re taking a selfie of a table. You don’t wanna have that.
Because when you have a SaaS solution or you have a cloud-based solution, every click counts, right? So, to have the AI since the beginning, to identify if it’s a face, if it’s a document, to have AI and to know your customer procedures, to ask the questions depending on the customer, depending on the answer, the previous answer, the next question, to have AI in the transaction monitoring, to have AI in the case management to resolve the cases, you know, very fast. So AI basically applies in every step.
Scott: It’s so core to it and it’s such a powerful tool that we’re gonna continue to see I think innovation across industries. So as we’ve sort of wind down our discussion here, I always like to look to the future. So turning our attention to the future, what do you see down the road for financial crime risk management? How will the landscape change in say, 5 to 10 years, so really long term?
Jaime: Everything will be automated. Most of the procedures right now start to do in the digitalization. But more on the road, most of those procedures will be automated. Hopefully, we’re gonna reduce the cybercrime, but at the same time, you put rules, and then there are other trends that are coming out. So, I will say that in the next few years, what is gonna be is gonna be more digitalized. All the services are more digitalized.
Scott: Right. So digitalization, automation, these things are going to continue to push forward, which I think connects to something that, and I know I’m sounding like a broken record here, but I was talking about how we can reduce friction, and how you can have processes that are going on in the background. So the end-user, the front-facing consumer, the person logging into their banking app, or whatever it might be, doesn’t even know it’s happening, or it is so seamless, or they just have this experience where all the security, all the risk management is happening from the business side, and from their side as well. And it doesn’t get in the way of the main thing that they’re trying to do. Right?
Jaime: Exactly. Yes.
Scott: So what’s next for Preventer? Any exciting projects, partnerships, features, or otherwise that you can share, of course, Jaime, that our listeners might find to be interesting?
Jaime: Yes. We’re very focused on…havePreventer one of the top solutions in the world, like I mentioned at the beginning. We have an end-to-end platform that can help the financial services from the beginning up to the end. What we’re focusing right now is on B2B. We provide services to business that they have customers, but our next challenge, I don’t know if it’s gonna be at the beginning of the next year, the end of next year, but it’s to have a B2C solution. It’s where the individuals can have on their app a way to secure their identity to secure their transactions, and not only rely on the financial services, but they can prevent their identity themself.
Scott: It’s gonna be exciting to see and I’m sure you guys are gonna continue to innovate and bring things like identity verification, financial crime, risk management, all that stuff to the next level. All right, Jaime, we have a segment that we like to end with on each and every show is where we do our fast five questions, and they’re coming rapid-fire. Are you ready?
Scott: All right. Make a prediction about the future of financial crime risk management, that you expect will happen in the more short-term future, so say 12 to 24 months.
Jaime: Like I mentioned before, it will be more digitalization. Most of the business will do remote onboarding people, remote onboarding entities, remote account opening, and everything will be more remote, I will say and in terms of how to mitigate this, you need to have more sophisticated tools to mitigate the cybercrime.
Scott: What’s one cool piece of payment or financial related technology, unrelated directly to your company that you’ve come across recently that impressed you?
Jaime: Well, fintechs are doing a very good job. There is a good alternative for financial services than before. Before you have to go to a bank to do a loan, to have a payment, to do a wire transfer, to send money from here to there. Now fintechs I think, are solving that problem. The P2P problem. That’s impressive how fintechs are going into that direction, solving the problem. And then especially that in the big financial institution, there is a lot of bureaucracy. So fintechs can solve that problem very fast, identify the problem, identify the solution and do it very fast.
Scott: In the next five years, most people around the world will make a purchase with either Bitcoin, Apple Pay some other thing entirely, which one do you think and why?
Jaime: Well, cryptocurrencies are growing. Apple Pay is an alternative to have on your wallet in your phone. I don’t know which one will be the most used, but definitely, you know, cryptocurrencies are gonna be very helpful for other people, people that want to transfer money from here to another country, and then they want to avoid the exchange rate, and they wanna keep their value. So cryptocurrencies are good for that.
Scott: What’s one piece of advice you would have for someone considering a career around technology and maybe even combating financial crime?
Jaime: A good advice of this is to listen to the end-user. How do you design or build any financial crime technology or combating the technology is, first of all, you need to listen the operations people, you need to listen how they’re working on it, and where are the problems that they are getting, and then is to automate that, but not only automate what they’re doing it is to try to do a better job than they do. And it’s not that if they do five steps, and then you’re gonna automate the five steps. Maybe those five steps can be just one or you configure out another better way to do it.
Scott: Last question here. What’s the best business advice you’ve ever received and from whom?
Jaime: The best business advice I think, is, I listened some stories from big intrapreneurs. One of them was the Uber, Facebook, YouTube is to focus, persistence, and resistance and, you know, keep working. Maybe the first time will not be your time, but the second time will be yours. But you have to have faith in your goals and keep working on that.
Scott: I think that’s fantastic advice. Jaime, thank you so much for joining me on the show today, sharing a bit about the Preventer story, and really covering a topic that is just so crucial. And I think with tools like yours, with maybe everybody being aligned and being aware of it in an organization, that’s how we’re gonna stay ahead of financial crime. That’s how whether you’re a new fintech or an established financial organization of some kind, that’s how we’re gonna beat this. So thank you again, Jaime. And if folks are interested in learning more, they wanna see maybe if Preventers identity verification solutions or otherwise could do something for them. Where can they connect with you guys? Where should they go to find out more?
Jaime: They can go to our website. It’s the preventer.com. It’s easy. We have there a lot of resources, articles, white papers. I mean, there is a lot of information there and then they can contact us through there.
Scott: Fantastic. Thanks again, Jaime.
Jaime: Thank you, Scott, for this opportunity and I hope to be here again.
“Preventor was founded in 2017 in Delaware. Our headquarters are based in Miami, FL. Since then, we have expanded our business to Peru, Ecuador, Mexico, and France. With over 35 years of experience, our team continues to work towards an efficient, secure way to identify and prevent fraud, and to deliver a new way to comply with global KYC and AML regulations. Our mission, however, goes well beyond that.
Transparency in identity is essential to our economy and the attainment of freedom and safety around the world. This transparency, and how to achieve it, is foundational to Preventor’s score beliefs and pursuits. Some argue that anonymity and transparency cannot exist together. At Preventor, we understand and are in lockstep with the evolutions of electronic currencies and their global impact.”