Case Study: Wise

Case Study: Wise

Wise is a fintech providing digital banking with integrated payments to modern small businesses. The startup aims to become an indispensable small business banking and payments service. Customers can receive payments, manage their cash, and pay employees & vendors all via Wise’s app. The solution includes an FDIC insured checking account and a Visa debit card, both offered through its banking services provider BBVA USA. Payments services are provided in partnership with Stripe. Wise was founded in December 2018, and in April 2020 they closed a $5.7 million seed round led by Base10 Partners.

Challenges

Banks are de-risking by either avoiding new fintechs altogether or imposing stringent anti-money laundering (AML) compliance requirements on the ones they do work with. Wise banking services are provided by the top-tier retail bank BBVA, and they needed a rigorous compliance program that would satisfy BBVA’s requirements.

However, Wise was a brand-new neobank fintech without direct experience in AML compliance. They were using an in-house fraud/sanctions solution to monitor in-flight transactions, but they needed to launch a full AML transaction monitoring solution before they could go live. Wise needed to find a compliance partner who could work within a traditional banking ecosystem and provide them with the right AML solution…fast.

The Solution: Beam

Wise wanted a unified platform, not a series of disparate solutions, that was built specifically for AML compliance with transaction monitoring at its core. They wanted a cloud-based solution in order to avoid the cost and maintenance headaches of an on-premises solution. And they wanted a solution built by compliance experts who could configure it to solve their specific needs.

When Wise evaluated Beam, they knew they had found the answer. Wise CEO Arjun Thyagarajan shared the following key points that sold them on Beam:    

  • Beam demonstrated AML thought leadership and delivered a comprehensive platform solution.
  • Beam is a SaaS technology partner who uses similar tech language but also speaks fluent AML, resulting in streamlined engagements with Wise’s compliance and technology teams.
  • Beam offers dedicated support, which would ensure that Wise could meet its AML obligation and project timelines.
  • Beam’s many pre-built detection rules and easily configurable analytics would meet Wise’s unique AML compliance requirements.
  • Beam’s integration process is straightforward, with an intuitive data model that matched Wise’s business yet was flexible enough to expand further.
  • Beam’s detection engine uses machine learning to increase catch rates and significantly reduce false positives.

Results

Wise allocated limited development resources for the integration. They met with Beam to look at the data together and mutually identify improvements for investigation. For example, Wise’s data model includes their own company as one of their “customers,” so Beam configured the rules to ensure this wouldn’t cause unnecessary alerts.

It took less than one month for Wise to go live on Beam’s platform with a solution that was tailored to their needs. Since the launch, Beam has continued to fine-tune the rules to identify trends in false positives and reduce the investigative load. Wise was able to meet their launch goal and has been very happy with the solution, which checked all the boxes for their unique AML compliance requirements.  

About Beam

Beam Solutions provides the leading cloud-based anti-money laundering (AML) compliance platform. Beam’s secure, rapidly deployable solutions help organizations safeguard the financial system against criminal activity and protect themselves from reputational risk. Designed by compliance industry veterans, Beam’s platform includes transaction monitoring, Know Your Customer (KYC), sanctions screening, identity verification (IDV), case management, suspicious activity reporting (SAR), and more.

Beam’s superior detection engine uses machine learning and advanced data sources to catch more suspicious activity while dramatically reducing false positives. The easy-to-use case manager provides powerful insights and automated regulatory reporting. Beam significantly increases the efficiency and effectiveness of compliance teams at financial institutions, fintechs, marketplaces, and more.

Request a demo today to find out how Beam will transform your organization’s compliance program.