Kevin Fream, CEOEver-growing compliance requirements that regulate trade keep the gatekeepers at financial services institutions awake at night. Striving to stay on the right side of sanctions and embargoes demands compliance with measures such as Know Your Customer and Anti-Money Laundering detection and reporting. Both practices include screening the lists of Specially Designated Nationals (SDN), violators of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) regulations, and Politically Exposed Persons (PEP). However, scanning these frequently-updated lists requires professionals to “cobble” them together to get a complete picture of compliance. The process can be complex and overwhelming. Recognizing the problems early, eCustoms—a provider of financial compliance services—realized that automating the process of searching watch lists could balance performance and compliance for financial services companies. Marc Roy, President of eCustoms, says, “If screening is time-consuming or automation is expensive, most organizations resort to infrequent screening. That leaves gaps in their compliance programs and increases the risk of penalties and fines.”
eCustoms helps customers build compliance programs that address their unique challenges and opportunities. The result is the right compliance program for them. “Our solution acts as a compliance data hub that helps ensure consistency across the organization,” explains Roy. Visual Compliance—a scalable, robust, and easy-to-use suite of automated trade, export, and financial (OFAC) software—helps organizations obtain broad and profound insights into compliance without duplicating work. Subscription to Visual Compliance includes automatic updates for watch lists including SDN, in addition to sanction and embargo programs. Previously entered names are rescreened against government watch lists, while new ones are screened immediately when entered into clients’ existing systems. This reduces the risk of non-compliance, avoids costly penalties and protects brand reputation and business partnerships. “Visual Compliance is not just software, but a total solution supporting people and processes involved in compliance,” adds Roy.
Visual Compliance is not just software, but a total solution supporting people and processes involved in compliance
Visual Compliance simplifies the process of establishing a reliable, accountable compliance program and aligns it with each organization’s growth and maturity—which refers to a compliance program’s completeness. Through Visual Compliance, eCustoms aims to deliver a compliance solution that causes little or no disruption to the clients’ business activities.
Clients seeking eCustoms’ services are usually battling three types of problems—inadequacy of systems to meet the current compliance requirements; gaps in compliance programs; and an absence of a compliance program. While Visual Compliance can be a solution to their problems, it is eCustoms’ “customer-first” philosophy that has made them a leader in the space. eCustoms lays special emphasis on understanding the clients’ current state of compliance to propose plans specific to each customer and prioritizing “configurability over customization.” The discussion phase is followed by a suggested action plan that addresses the client’s current needs, constraints, opportunities as well as potential future growth. The action plan is presented as a series of modules to show clients how it can unfold in phases in rapid succession. “The maturity or completeness of their compliance program doesn’t matter. We start off by closing the critical gaps in compliance,” Roy explains.
Once the customer agrees to the action plan, the first phase of implementation gets started. They provide access to the core component of Visual Compliance and configure it to function properly within the client’s ecosystem. Roy explains that this method resolves the compliance issues quickly and seamlessly for clients with legacy systems.
Through its expertise in regulatory compliance solutions, eCustoms has assisted numerous clients in the financial services domain ranging from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies, since 1981. Roy offers a core reason for eCustoms being the compliance provider of choice: “Our unparalleled technical and compliance support give customers more than compliance. We also give them confidence.”