GTS-Retail elevates efficiency and compliance across Zambia’s bureau de change sector

African central banks will find this case study on the adaptation of GTS-Retail for the Bank of Zambia’s AML initiative relevant to the regulation of their own bureau de change industries.

IMX Software has completed the rollout of a centralized, real-time system that allows the Bank of Zambia to monitor foreign exchange transactions processed by all licensed bureau de change operators across the country. Download the full case study here to read more.

IMX Software signs up new APAC wholesale banknote market entrant

JBFX, a new entrant in the wholesale banknotes market in APAC, has signed a five-year deal to use IMX Software’s GTS-Wholesale and Cash Centre offering, delivered as a full Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) solution and deployed across JBFX’s Sydney-based trading and vault operations to support critical business processes and regulatory compliance reporting.

The new contract was awarded to IMX Software, the global leader in currency trading and travel money technology, due to the superior modernity, scalability and flexibility of the GTS platform, which will be delivered as a fully managed service from an exclusive, high-specification Australian hosting environment. The GTS platform will also allow JBFX to adhere to the requirements of local reporting regulations via direct integration with AUSTRAC.

IMX Software’s Melbourne-based team assisted JBFX to commence commercial trading operations on GTS-Wholesale only 6 weeks after contract signature, an indication of the product’s maturity following several years of continual investment and development.

JBFX is a subsidiary of JB Financial Group, a consolidated financial services and FinTech group, which comprises of JB Markets, JB Alpha and Crown Currency Exchange.

The Bank of Zambia rolls-out GTS-Retail from IMX Software under an anti-money-laundering initiative

IMX Software announced today that it has completed the rollout of a centralized, real-time system to allow the Bank of Zambia to monitor foreign exchange transactions processed by all licensed bureau de change operators across the country.

The vulnerability of the Zambian bureau de change industry to money-laundering has been a concern of central government for a number of years. Attempts to address this risk by imposing daily trading limits on customers have been largely ineffective due to the lack of automation and record-keeping typical in most operators.

In 2016 the Bank of Zambia chose IMX’s GTS-Retail system to provide an automated system to track bureau de change transactions as they occur against a central customer database. This allows the Bank to view the aggregated value of transactions performed by a customer irrespective of where they transacted. IMX has implemented its GTS-Retail hub software in the Bank of Zambia’s head office in Lusaka and has completed the rollout of the GTS-Retail Point-of-Sale software to over 100  bureau de change branches across the country. New features were introduced into the product that allow multiple private operators to trade completely independently from each other with only the BoZ having a global view of activity.

Joseph Munyoro, Assistant Director, Non-Bank Financial Institution Supervision, says: “GTS-Retail is enabling the Bank of Zambia to realise efficiency gains through leveraging the use of technology that has removed the binding constraint we once faced with regard to the number of available on-site examiners.  GTS-Retail has proved to be an efficient means of monitoring and supervising a rapidly growing part of the Zambian financial sector using a limited number of on-site examiners.”

Rob Stansell, Managing Director of IMX in South Africa, says: “Our Zambian implementation team has received a very positive response from the supervisors and tellers during their post-implementation follow-up visits. They managed the change from a paper-based system with limited controls, to a fully automated system with pragmatism and empathy. Bureau staff have expressed their appreciation for the ease-of-use, short transaction times as well as the automated balancing and end-of-day processes.”

The recently announced features in GTS-Retail, which allow for automated scanning and validation of identity documents, will provide bureau de change with the possibility to further strengthen the customer on-boarding process. This will have the added benefit to the bureau operators of automatically populating the customer details without requiring the teller to capture them.

Tourvest Financial Services streamlines SARB and FIC compliance with IMX Software

Tourvest Financial Services, the company licensed to operate the American Express Foreign Exchange brand in South Africa, Namibia and Botswana, has signed a five-year, fixed-term agreement to implement the GTS-Retail software from IMX Software, the global leader in currency trading and travel money technology.

Tourvest Financial Services is a wholly-owned subsidiary of leading South African tourism group, Tourvest Holdings, and supplies and exchanges currencies to inbound and outbound travelers, sells prepaid travel cards and operates as a major agent for Western Union money transfers. It has used IMX solutions for the past 20 years and decided to roll out IMX’s new generation GTS-Retail to strengthen regulatory compliance and sharpen the customer experience. Implementation started early in August and should be complete by end-March 2018.

GTS-Retail is a modern, easy-to-use, multi-language point of sale system enabling forex providers and banknote traders to serve customers quickly, while efficiently managing their business and inventory. Centralized administration and reporting provide a clear view of performance and ensure that trading, AML, KYC and other business-specific rules are enforced.

Says Marlize van der Schyff, Financial and IT Director at Tourvest Financial Services: “Regulators are expecting South African financial services companies, including forex bureaus, to constantly improve their reporting and monitoring standards. GTS-Retail will enable us to meet more stringent regulatory requirements while ensuring rapid transaction processing times and fast customer service.”

GTS-Retail is tailored to the needs of the South African market, with compliance modules for South African Reserve Bank FinSurv reporting as well as integration with the Financial Intelligence Centre’s goAML software for reporting of larger cash transactions, suspicious transactions and international fund transfers.

Tight integration between GTS-Retail and document readers and subscription to banknote and document verification services from International Reference Systems further speeds up business processes, improves data accuracy and reduces fraud and risk at the point of sale. When a teller scans a customer’s passport, the document will be verified for authenticity using text data recognition, Machine Readable Zone data, barcodes and other security checks.

Meanwhile, Western Union and MasterCard integration eliminates dual capture of transactions, and International Reference Systems’ banknote verification allows tellers to verify banknote security features for all currencies. In addition to these standard features, IMX will be developing a number of additional functions to cater for Tourvest’s unique business requirements.

Says Hennie Pretorius, General Manager at IMX Software: “We look forward to helping Tourvest roll out our platform to serve customers faster and improve process efficiencies across its business. GTS-Retail automates compliance and risk processes, allowing tellers to focus on engaging with the customer and maximizing the transaction value.”

IMX announces full integration with document reader from International Reference Systems (IRS) for rapid, error-free data capture and automated ID verification

IMX Software’s leading GTS-Retail foreign currency, remittance and pre-paid card point-of-sale solution now integrates fully with IRS document readers for the automated scanning of various document types with ID capture enabling the search, retrieval and automatic population of customer data directly into GTS-Retail, without cashier intervention.

Established in The Netherlands, IRS is a pioneer in the field of document security with an extensive online banknotes and identity documents reference database. IRS solutions are not only used by forensic experts, but are also deployed in everyday commercial and retail applications requiring mandatory ID capture.

The document reader is a small footprint scanner for desktop use, connected to the PC via a USB cable. Reliable, convenient and easy-to-use, the reader supports text data recognition, Machine Readable Zone (MRZ) scanning of passports as well as barcodes, whilst determining the validity of a document by checking its security features.

The integration with GTS-Retail works as follows; whilst in the GTS Retail deal screen, the document can be inserted into the scanner at any time. GTS will capture all the text information from the document, as well as an image of the document, which is stored against the customer profile.

GTS will then determine if the customer already exists in the database, and if so, it will retrieve the customer’s profile. If the customer does not exist, it will then create a new customer profile and pre-populate customer and identification fields with the information from the document.

An image of the entire document will be saved against the customer’s profile and the document will be verified via its security features, which requires a subscription to the IRS documents database.

All customer profiles and scanned document images can be accessed via any branch in the network and centrally from the back office. In addition, the cashier will be alerted if a customer document is nearing expiry or has expired.

Marijan Miocic, IMX Software’s Product Director commented; “With this integration we expect to significantly speed up transaction processing times via the elimination of manual keying with a resulting improvement in data accuracy. It will also significantly reduce duplication of customer information and, of course, we expect our clients will see a reduction in fraud risk from fake identity documents, as well as staying ahead of increasingly stringent regulatory compliance requirements. In addition, combined with our recently announced ComplyAdvantage integration, our clients can automate sanctions and PEP checks within this scanning workflow.”

About IRS

Established in The Netherlands, IRS is a pioneer in the field of document security with their extensive online banknote and identity document reference databases. Its solutions are not only used by forensic experts using all detailed security information but also in day to day trade in the commercial and retail environment. For more information: www.internationalreferencesystems.com

IMX and multi-award winning ComplyAdvantage partner for Sanctions & PEP screening

Changes to Global Financial regulations will force currency exchange providers to better uphold sanctions and PEP screening against customers – or risk heavy fines and reputational damage. To meet that requirement, GTS is now fully integrated with ComplyAdvantage, the world’s only provider of AI-driven AML risk data, allowing for real-time screening of customers against global sanctions and PEP lists. These new features will help Money Service Businesses (MSBs) using GTS meet their statutory obligations and prevent breaches of sanctions.

For example, in the UK, since April 2017, all businesses have a duty to uphold financial sanctions or face financial penalties of up to £1m. The Policing and Crime Act 2017 also makes provisions for jail sentences of between 2 and 7 years in some cases. “The penalties for breaching international financial sanctions are particularly punitive,” said IMX Product Director Marijan Miocic. “The risk of being handed a substantial fine because cashiers cannot access the relevant sanction registers quickly and efficiently is a very real prospect under the new law.”

New integrations within the GTS ComplyAdvantage module allow MSBs to check customer details against 28 different global sanctions and watch lists, e.g. OFAC, HMT, EU, UN, DFAT. Powered by Artificial Intelligence, the ComplyAdvantage database can incorporate all global Sanctions updates within 15 minutes, meaning IMX clients can be sure nothing slips through the net. They can also quickly ensure any customer is not listed on four Politically Exposed Persons (PEP) lists classified according to the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an intergovernmental organisation formed by the G7 to tackle money laundering.

“By embedding information about sanction listings in GTS, cashiers are empowered to make informed decisions about every transaction,” continued Miocic, “Every search generates a list of matching names, addresses, aliases and dates of birth, allowing the cashier to quickly identify the customer, and whether they are sanctioned from making foreign currency purchases. ComplyAdvantage not only delivers information about financial sanctions, but also provides an easy to use case management system  to record the decision-making process for use in the event of a government investigation. Cashiers can immediately abandon the deal when a customer fails the identity check. Or they can complete the transaction and create an exception note in the system to explain their decision.”

With GTS Retail & ComplyAdvantage, MSBs are able to:

  • Stay compliant with changing Sanctions, AML/CTF regulation including the EU’s Fourth Money Laundering Directive (MLD4)
  • Digitize and automate manual KYC & AML processes
  • Increase efficiency with tailored risk-based screening and monitoring to reduce unnecessary false positives by 60-84%
  • Advance sanctions screening with powerful “fuzzy matching” search capability that allows more accurate screening and reduced false positives
  • Specify value of deal for checks, e.g. only check for deals > $2,000 or check for all deals
  • Specify which sanctions/watch lists to check
  • Audit whether a check was performed against deal
  • Records whether a customer was a positive hit
  • Tailor workflow in event of a positive hit, e.g. block deal, dual authorization for deal to proceed, display warning message
  • Be notified with proactive alerts as soon as changes to sanctions and watchlists are recorded
  • Access a browser based Case Management tool for Compliance Officers in Head Office

The ComplyAdvantage module is a subscription-based service available to any customer using GTS Retail. Fees are based on pre-agreed unique search volumes and include whitelist capabilities.

For further information, visit complyadvantage.com.

IMX Software’s GTS-Retail conforms to unique French regulations

French regulations for licensed Money Service Businesses insist that cash transactions have unique consecutive deal numbers separate from Pre-Paid Cards, Sundry Items or branch to branch transfers. IMX Software, in conjunction with long term customer ChangeGroup with several bureaus across Paris, has implemented a change in GTS to meet these specific regulations. This was a challenging technology development for the IMX team working closely with ChangeGroup’s French team and the London head office, as no other national regulator has similar precise requirements. Several reports also had to be upgraded to meet this change. ChangeGroup successfully deployed the solution into production and is now fully compliant with this unusual regulatory anomaly.

 

GTS-Retail de IMX Software répond à une réglementation Française unique.

 La réglementation française pour Bureau de Change insiste sur le fait que les transactions en espèces ont des numéros de transactions consécutifs uniques distincts des cartes prépayées, des articles divers ou des transferts de succursales à succursales. IMX Software, en collaboration avec notre client de long terme ChangeGroup qui a plusieurs bureaux à Paris, a mis en place une modification de GTS pour respecter ces réglementations. Il s’agissait d’un développement technologique difficile pour l’équipe IMX travaillant en étroite collaboration avec l’équipe française de ChangeGroup et le siège social de Londres, car aucun autre régulateur national n’avait les memes exigences. Plusieurs rapports ont également été mis à jour pour répondre à cette modification. ChangeGroup a déployé avec succès la solution en production et est maintenant entièrement conforme à cette anomalie réglementaire.

IMX Software announces 2017 Client Conference in October

Following on from a successful event in London last October, IMX Software has announced the dates and agenda for its 2017 client conference on October 10th.

The IMX team will be updating its customers on product investment plans and showcasing the latest GTS-Retail, Ecommerce and Wholesale releases. This will highlight product developments as a response to recent changes in the regulatory and compliance landscape that impact all currency exchange operators and how they deal with their customers, particularly the 4th EU AML Directive. IMX will also be helping its customers to better understand and prepare for the upcoming challenges presented by PSD2 and GDPR.

Sessions from industry partners Comply Advantage, Peters & Peters, and Mastercard will deliver a broader industry dimension to the agenda along with two of the travel money industry’s most progressive operators who will share their recent experiences in switching to GTS-Retail.

A reliable, competitive wholesale partner is key to operating a profitable money service business and to address this essential component of the industry, IMX plans to end the session with an interactive panel discussion around the key wholesale supply challenges facing the business today. In support of this agenda item IMX has invited several of the leading banknote wholesalers to participate.

The day will close with drinks and entertainment, giving everyone the opportunity to connect.

The Conference details are as follows:

 

CUSTOMER CONFERENCE 2017

Date:    Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Venue: The Kia Oval, Kennington, London SE11 5SS

Time:    9:30am – 4:30pm, followed by a drinks reception and entertainment until 6pm

 

For further information, contact us at info@imxsoftware.com

IMX announces upgrade programme to support new GDPR requirements

GTS users will benefit from a package of product enhancements to meet the challenges of new GDPR legislation, to be announced at October client conference

The European Union’s ambitious General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will come into force in under 12 months on 25th May 2018 and UK firms will be required to comply from the outset, regardless of Brexit. Failure to comply could result in fines of up to £20m, or 4% of annual global turnover, so businesses need to be assessing how they are going to respond to this new requirement ahead of it taking effect.

IMX Software is experienced at helping clients comply with regulatory requirements around the world and will be announcing a programme of GDPR-led product changes to be available later in 2017, in time for implementation before the deadline. Full technical and commercial details will be announced at our client conference in London on 10th October.

Most Money Service Business (MSB) processes involve collecting customer data, and even if this is solely for regulatory purposes it still falls within the scope of GDPR. Among other items, the GDPR includes comprehensive rights for individuals which will require pro-active management of client data by the MSB, potentially over several years, including the right to be informed, right of access, right to erasure, right to restrict processing and a right to object.

Bill Tickner, IMX Software CEO said: ‘Many MSBs will be considering if they need an information audit to assess existing processing policies, such as retention periods, and how the individual’s rights, such as for deletion of personal data or providing the data electronically, will be managed. It is likely that new data handling policies and processes will be required by the MSB to ensure compliance with GDPR and we aim to assist our customers to meet this new regulatory obligation prior to the deadline.’

Other key considerations include how customer consent will be obtained for the capture, storage and usage of their data, as well as clarifying the legal basis for holding and processing the data. Staff training is expected to be a key area for action as front line staff will need new tools to address customers’ questions as they gain more understanding of their individual rights.

In addition to the package of GTS product changes, IMX will also be teaming up with an external, independent consultant to make available a GDPR assessment that will provide a health check on key aspects of the legislation and provide management with a recommended action plan to ensure compliance. More details will follow on this GDPR assessment service shortly.

Please contact us at GDPR@imxsoftware.com for more details.

For further information on GDPR, the Information Commissioner’s Office has published a useful guide to the steps a business needs to be taking, available at https://ico.org.uk/media/for-organisations/documents/1624219/preparing-for-the-gdpr-12-steps.pdf

NORTHWEST MONEY EXCHANGE upgrades to GTS-Retail for continuous trading with Branch Continuity Mode.

Northwest Money Exchange, a long term IMX customer with an established bureau business based in Northern Ireland, renown for competitive pricing and excellent service, has now fully implemented IMX Software’s GTS-Retail currency point of sale system. Northwest selected the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) version of GTS-Retail including Branch Continuity Mode (BCM) which allows all orders to be processed through the system even if network connectivity is lost. The unique solution also allows customer details to be verified and money-laundering checks completed during network outages

Loss of connectivity remains an issue for many bureaus, completing deals using manual receipts causes considerable delays to the customers and increases security risks for the business owner. GTS-Retail, with the unique ability to switch automatically from online to offline and back again, removes these risks and keeps the customer experience high. All offline trading data is automatically synchronised when connectivity is restored, without the need for user or administrator intervention.

IMX Software’s SaaS-based solution combined with BCM significantly boosts transaction performance whilst lowering operating costs and complying with central bank, know your customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) laws and regulations. The solution will enable Northwest to store client information centrally, enabling regular customers to be fulfilled rapidly based on stored documentation.

Charlene McMonagle, Bureau Director at Northwest: “Loss of connectivity before GTS meant we could not trade, that issue is now behind us. Similarly boxes of confidential data that had to be securely stored are now held electronically and accessed from across our branch network.”

“GTS was rapidly accepted by the bureau staff as the interface must be the easiest to use on the market. IMX have worked closely with our IT consultants to help us understand and manage the local GTS Branch Servers”

Northwest now has a centralised view of its stock and cash position across all branches which they can deploy using GTS Analytics, allowing key managers to see important metrics in real-time delivered on any Apple or Android device.

Says Bill Tickner, CEO of IMX Software: “We are delighted to have upgraded Northwest from our previous TMX online solution to IMX’s SaaS-based version of GTS-Retail with BCM. The solution was designed specifically for active bureau networks such as Northwest that cannot afford any operating downtime.”