The Swedish RegTech company ZignSec has rolled out a new anti-money laundering (AML) product as the Nordics are still dealing with the fallout of a massive banking scandal.
The identity verification venture, which went public in 2019, made the announcement at an event hosted by Sthlm Fintech Week on Monday February 10.
“This product will cover the entirety of the Nordics,” Jonas Ingelström, CEO of ZignSec, told RegTech Analyst. “Digital identities exist across the Nordics and with this solution you would be able to complete a full AML check within 60 seconds. Then you will have checked against all fundamental points that you have to check, which is fantastic. This is a great solution.”
The product essentially checks against different registers in several countries, looking for things like proof of identity and proof of address as well as doing risk assessments. “The exciting thing is that you can complete every check you need with just one call,” Ingelström said.
The ZignSec CEO said that the backend side of the product is complete and fully available to customers.
Ingelström also noted that this software will not just be for financial services firms. “We will enable a lot of the companies that are already specialised in this area to go to new markets,” Ingelström said. “Whereas, the companies that are not as heavily involved in this – such as solicitors, law firms, real estate agencies and the like – they’ll have access to a complete solution that solves their needs, because they are also forced to comply with the money laundering directive.”
However, the launch at Sthlm Fintech Week was just the beginning. While the product will initially just be available in the Nordics, ZignSec is planning to roll out the service later this year across most of Europe and several other countries around the world, including North America and Asia. “It’s a global product,” Ingelström said.
The launch of the product comes as the Nordics is still dealing with the fallout of the Danske Bank money laundering scandal, which saw $223bn suspicious transactions being made through the bank. Some of those transactions were also processed by Swedbank, where the chairman and the CEO were forced to resign in the aftermath.
To Ingelström, the scandal’s effects have been palpable. “The banks have become much more conscious and work a lot harder with it,” Ingelström said. “I was talking with a bank last week. They said that, in the past, the thing that used to take the longest time was to figure out whether or not a business should be given a loan or not. Today, the thing that takes them the longest is their AML checks. You could always miss out on making money if you make a bad credit check, but if you make a bad AML check, the board and the leaders of the company would have to leave.”
The bad publicity facing banks and financial firms being revealed to have failed in their AML responsibilities is something Ingelström believed that more firms should take heed off.
“The new AML directive included a lot of different type of services and they have not been able to experience this yet,” he said. “In Norway, for instance, they have begun with audits. They haven’t really started with that in Sweden. It’s first when they get a knock on the door and they’re told to show their AML procedures that they really need to have clear records of all of their business and their individual customers. And that’s going to be rolled out in Sweden and Finland as well.”
ZignSec’s new product is launched as the Nordic FinTech scene is going from strength to strength, with Sweden in particular having nurtured the rise of unicorns like Klarna and iZettle. Investment in the region has jumped from $423.4m in 2015 to $1.39bn in 2015, according to FinTech Global’s data.
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