First Rand Bank to use ACE Software to scan payments for AML compliance

Source: ACE Software Solutions

ACE Software Solutions, provider of fully integrated Straight Through Processing (STP) enabled payments and transaction processing solutions for the banking sector, today announced FirstRand Bank Ltd., of South Africa have purchased their OFAC Guard, a product that automates the filtering of payment messages to ensure transactions are not executed by or in favour of blacklisted individuals and organisations.

FirstRand Bank Ltd, in keeping with international trends to decrease costs and enhance agility within a rapidly changing business landscape, identified the strategic need for the centralisation of payments and messaging functions. "The adoption of a true Services Oriented Architecture (SOA) approach has led to untold benefits, not least of which is our ability to adapt quickly to changes in legislation," says Rob Green, Head of Payments at FirstRand Bank Limited.

Banks must comply with the regulatory requirements to ensure that they do not conduct business with or for individuals or entities that have been black-listed by the authorities. The OFAC list is one of a number of national and international organisations that track and publish details of these persons. The ACE Software product takes its name from the US list OFAC; however it also scans message content against other national and international lists.

"Before selecting ACE Software's OFAC Guard(tm) product, we conducted a review of the various products available in the market comparing functionality, technical compatibility with our SOA environment, vendor capability and pricing. We settled upon ACE Software because they scored well on all counts. We are now preparing for implementation of this product to be completed in Q1 2007." explains Jane Cole, Project Manager for FirstRand Bank Ltd's Payment Product House.

OFAC Guard(tm) uses intelligent natural language processing features to quickly and accurately scan financial messages for all types and formats, including non-standard unstructured message types like e-mails and faxes. It intelligently identifies blacklisted entities in transactions, with very low false positive rates and highlights them before transactions are processed.

"We have seen a number of our clients who like FirstRand Bank Ltd, are adopting the SOA infrastructure approach as a way of future proofing their IT environments. Our solution is SOA compatible and will allow FirstRandFirstRand Bank Ltd to quickly realize the benefits of our product," said ACE Software Solutions CEO Parth Desai. "There is no need for financial institutions to spend unnecessary time and money on this essential task when a solution like our OFAC Guard(tm) is readily available and affordable," he concludes.

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