Developing AML Compliance Programs for UAE Money Service Businesses

5 mins

Money Service Businesses (MSBs) in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are under increased regulatory scrutiny to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing activities. To comply with the regulations, MSBs need to develop a comprehensive Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance program. In this blog, we will discuss how Tookitaki's AML compliance solutions can help MSBs in the UAE to develop a robust and effective AML compliance program.

Understanding the UAE Regulatory Framework for AML Compliance

The UAE has been taking significant measures to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. The country has implemented a strong regulatory framework for AML compliance that financial institutions operating in the country need to adhere to. In recent years, compliance regulation and requirements for the Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations in the UAE have also changed, especially in the banking sector of Dubai and other Emirates. According to a report by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), UAE has been making significant progress in improving its AML/CFT framework, and it has been recognized as one of the top-performing countries in the Middle East and North Africa region.

AML regulations in Saudi Arabia (1)

To comply with the UAE's regulatory framework, financial institutions must establish and maintain an effective AML compliance program. They must also have robust systems in place to detect and report any suspicious transactions. Failure to comply with the UAE's AML regulations can result in significant financial and reputational damage.

Recently, the UAE Central Bank has imposed hefty fines on several banks for their non-compliance with AML regulations. The fines ranged from AED 500,000 to AED 10 million, and some banks were also instructed to suspend some of their services temporarily. Therefore, it is crucial for financial institutions operating in the UAE to ensure that they have robust AML compliance programs in place to avoid any legal and financial penalties.


Tookitaki's AML Compliance Solutions for MSBs

Tookitaki is leading the charge in the fight against financial crime with its Anti-Money Laundering Suite and Anti-Financial Crime (AFC) Ecosystem. Its unique community-based approach, powered by federated machine learning, breaks down the siloed approach used by criminals to evade traditional solutions. This results in a more effective AML program with a wider coverage of risk, sharper detection, and fewer false alerts. 

Tooktiaki’s approach starts with our AFC ecosystem which is a community-based platform to share information and best practices in the fight against financial crime. The AFC ecosystem is powered through our Typology Repository which is a live database of money laundering techniques and schemes called typologies. These typologies are contributed by financial institutions, regulatory bodies, risk consultants, etc around the world by sharing their own experiences and knowledge of money laundering. The repository includes a wide range of typologies, from traditional methods such as shell companies and money mules, to more recent developments such as digital currency and social media-based schemes.


AML Software Guide


The AMLS, on the other hand, is a software deployed at financial institutions, which collaborates with the AFC Ecosystem through federated machine learning. The AMLS extracts the new typologies from the AFC Ecosystem and executes the typologies at the customers' end, ensuring that their AML programs stay ahead of the curve. The AMLS includes several modules such as Transaction Monitoring, Smart Screening, Dynamic Risk Scoring, and Case Manager. These modules work together to provide a comprehensive compliance solution that covers all aspects of AML including detection, investigation, and reporting.

The Transaction Monitoring module is designed to detect suspicious patterns of financial transactions that may indicate money laundering or other financial crimes. It utilizes powerful simulation modes for automated threshold tuning, which allows AML teams to focus on the most relevant alerts and improve their overall efficiency. The module also includes a built-in sandbox environment, which allows financial institutions to test and deploy new typologies in a matter of minutes. This feature enables AML teams to quickly adapt to new money laundering techniques and stay ahead of the criminals.

The Smart Screening module is designed to detect potential matches against sanctions lists, PEPs, and other watchlists. It includes 50+ name matching techniques, supports multiple attributes such as name, address, gender, date of birth, and date of incorporation. It covers 20+ languages and 10 different scripts, and includes a built-in transliteration engine for effective cross-lingual matching. This module is highly configurable, allowing it to be tailored to the specific needs of each financial institution.

The Dynamic Risk Scoring solution is a flexible and scalable customer risk ranking program that adapts to changing customer behavior and compliance requirements. This module creates a dynamic, 360-degree risk profile of customers. It not only enables financial institutions to uncover hidden risks but also opens up new business opportunities.

The Case Manager provides compliance teams with the platform to collaborate on cases and work seamlessly across teams. It comes with a host of automations built to empower investigators. Financial institutions can configure the Case Manager to automate processes such as case creation, allocation, data gathering, and so on, allowing investigators to become more effective.


Benefits of Using Tookitaki's AML Compliance Solutions

Using Tookitaki's AML compliance solutions can help MSBs in the following ways:

Stay Ahead of Regulation: AMLS' ability to stay ahead of regulations, combined with AFC's expertise in the field, helps MSBs navigate the complex regulatory landscape and maintain compliance.

Maximize Efficiency: With transaction monitoring, smart screening and Dynamic Risk Scoring solutions under one platform, MSBs can efficiently identify and mitigate financial crime risks, without wasting valuable resources on false alerts.

Unlock Hidden Risks: AFC's community-based platform provides access to information and best practices that can help MSBs uncover hidden risks and stay ahead of the competition.

Final Thoughts

Tookitaki's AML compliance solutions offer an end-to-end solution for MSBs in the UAE to develop a comprehensive AML compliance program. Using Tookitaki's solutions can help MSBs to comply with regulatory requirements more effectively and efficiently while reducing costs and improving risk management. MSBs can contact Tookitaki to book a demo of the solutions and learn how they can help them with their AML compliance efforts.