How to Hire Your Next BSA Officer

When it comes to a bank’s due diligence with respect to AML/BSA compliance, having a BSA officer is a necessity. That said, it can be challenging to find a high-quality individual to fill in the role, especially with the volatility of BSA and AML compliance standards constantly changing.

A BSA officer holds a lot of weight in regards to maintaining a bank’s reputation and strictly abiding by BSA standards. They are responsible for integrating an AML compliance program, staying up to date with changes to the Bank Secrecy Act, educating staff on how to catch money laundering schemes early and more. Aside from having a quality fraud prevention system in place, hiring a knowledgeable BSA officer ensures that as fraudsters get better at their craft, financial institutions have systems in place to combat them. 

Without a high-quality BSA officer on staff, banks are more susceptible to negative repercussions such as criminal penalties, loss in customer trust, damaged reputation, potential job loss and hefty fines that could be crippling to smaller institutions. That is why it is critical to have the right person on your team so your financial institution’s operations are closely complying with the Bank Secrecy Act.

When you find yourself with a vacant BSA officer position, here are some things you will want to look out for:

Knowledge of AML Compliance

It’s one thing to know what BSA compliance is from a surface level, but your BSA officer must have a full understanding of the regulations and requirements and can speak to how they’ve applied them to their previous role. Before hiring a BSA officer, you might want to test potential candidates’ knowledge about things that have been recently added to the Bank Secrecy Act. 

For example, within the first quarter of 2020 alone, there are new BSA/Anti-Money Laundering updates issued. Your next BSA officer should know these updates prior to stepping into the role and be able to speak to how they’ve assessed risk when it comes to money laundering and how they can apply it to your institution.

Your ideal candidate should demonstrate that they are able to self start and bring new strategies into your financial institution with real-world examples from past positions. Standout candidates might even come to the table with more specific examples they plan to integrate into your company. Based on how they respond to these inquisitions, you can gain some insight as to how they will respond to changes in the future.

Extreme Attention To Detail

As the industry progresses, banks have gotten more savvy to the types of tricks fraudsters use to get around standard security measures. But just as banks are adapting, so are fraudsters. Criminals are finding new and innovative methods for committing fraudulent activities. Attention to detail is going to be essential for a BSA officer to successfully institute a system that works. 

Some things your BSA officer should watch out for include:

  • Tracking and monitoring high-risk accounts and customers and organizing data to note when onboarding new clients
  • Compiling results and applying responses to financial audits
  • Immediately notifying authorities of suspicious activity such as cash purchases of negotiable instruments, and transactions exceeding $10,000

Ideally, your BSA officer should be diligent when combing through BSA guidelines and have a passion for the necessary skills it takes to do the job well. 

Passion for the Position

For any employee, not just BSA officers, longevity in the role is critical to the future of your financial institution. An individual with a passion for what they do ensures that they are in it for the long haul. It’s easy to filter out those who are just merely “looking for a day job.” 

While it can be difficult to find somebody who is specifically passionate about BSA compliance, BSA officers should have a passion for justice and protecting people from fraud. Before hiring, get a feel for the driving factors behind becoming a BSA officer. 

Additionally, ask about the different kinds of training they’ve had in the past, and what kind of training they’d like to do in the future. Here some specific types of training that are optimal for BSA officers:

  • AML/BSA Certification – course goes over best practices and should be a basic course that they’ve taken before.
  • AML/BSA Training- This course should be taken annually as it’s critical in their development and understanding of new updates to the Bank Secrecy Act as well as AML compliance. 

Ultimately, your BSA officer should come to the table with ideas on how to prevent fraud in the most efficient and effective way possible. That’s why many BSA/AML compliance programs across the country use Intellicheck to catch fraudsters.

Go the Extra Mile with Intellicheck

The primary role of a BSA officer is to prevent money laundering schemes from occurring and one of the best ways to do that is to catch it in the moment, in real-time. With Intellicheck, banks can identify fraudsters before they are funneled into the AML compliance program to verify an individual’s identity. 

Intellicheck is easy to use; simply scan the barcode on the back of the customer’s driver’s license and within seconds you will know whether or not an individual is using false identification. Intellicheck allows you to save resources on verifying identities down the line by catching fraudulent activity early on. 

Thanks to Intellicheck, businesses have been able to identify fraudsters with 99% accuracy saving them money on hefty fines due to AML compliance violations. In addition to hiring a BSA officer, protect your business with Intellicheck to safeguard your business for the future.

Unpacking Everything You Need to Know About AML Compliance

Fraudsters have been using money laundering schemes to cover illegal activities for decades. In an effort to cut back the number of people taking advantage of the system, the government has imposed a set of rules and regulations called AML compliance.

Anti-Money Laundering Act (AML) first appeared in the U.S. to stop perpetrators from moving money to evade taxes and use it for notorious purposes. According to a report by the United Nations Department of Drugs and Crime, fraudsters manage to launder between $800 billion to $2 trillion internationally every year.

Failing to abide by the AML compliance regulations can cause banks to face harsh repercussions including hefty fines, loss of credibility and even potential jail time. Therefore, they need to keep themselves updated concerning the latest industry trends. So, if you are associated with a bank or a financial organization and need a refresh, here is everything you need to know about AML compliance.

What is AML Compliance?

According to Investopedia, Anti-money laundering (AML) is a set of laws and regulations put in place to prevent fraudsters from disguising illegally obtained funds as legitimate income. Though limited in terms of what is actually laid out in AML guidelines, AML is an umbrella under which many other sets of regulations exist. For example, the Bank Secrecy Act outlines a series of regulations financial institutions must comply with to avoid hefty fines. 

AML Compliance for Financial Institutions

Financial institutions that fail to comply with BSA/AML compliance regulations can end up facing hefty fines that can cripple their business. Apart from that, it can also damage your market reputation and reduce your ability to combat money-laundering schemes in the future.

AML regulations are a global practice, and organizations have been fined in all parts of the world when found non-compliant. According to a report, the U.S. accounts for 91 percent of the total fines, with a value of up to $23.53 billion. Europe has imposed fines amounting to $1.7 billion, and the FCA, UK, imposed the majority of them.  

Therefore, the only correct way to protect your business from major financial setbacks is to educate yourself concerning the necessary regulations and integrate new technology and practices into your point of sales or identity verification efforts.

Here’s everything you need to know:

United States BSA Requirement

The BSA, or Bank Secrecy Act, requires all financial institutions in the U.S. to assist government agencies with preventing and detecting money laundering schemes. More specifically, BSA requires financial institutions to maintain records of cash purchases for negotiable instruments. They must also file reports of cash transactions of an amount exceeding $10,000 (daily aggregate amount).

Financial institutions must also report any suspicious activity that may point toward tax evasion, money laundering, and other criminal activities. All banks and other financial institutions must fulfill certain requirements to be BSA certified including:

  • Establish an effective monitoring system along with a customer due-diligence program
  • Establish a competitive Suspicious Activity Monitoring and Reporting Process (SARs)
  • Maintain Monetary Instruments Logs (MILs) to keep a record of cash purchases or transactions of monetary instruments with a total value of $3000 to $10,000
  • Financial institutions must establish AML compliance programs, including the designation of a BSA officer, the development of internal controls, independent schedule audits, and on-going employee training programs

Banks that violate BSA provisions may face criminal fines of up to $1 million or twice the value of the transaction. Meanwhile, the employee responsible could face fines and possible jail time. Therefore, to make sure you abide by these complex rules and regulations, you should hire a BSA Officer.

Hire a BSA Officer

A BSA officer is responsible for making sure that all the operations of your financial institution are compliant with BSA certification guidelines, as stated in the Bank Secrecy Act. Some of the primary responsibilities of a BSA officer are:

  • Implementation of a BSA compliance program
  • Educate and train employees on BSA requirements
  • Perform risk assessments and issue recommendations to executives
  • Ensure AML certification documents are up to date.

Understanding AML KYC (Know Your Customer)

While AML refers to the umbrella that is anti-money laundering, KYC, or Know Your Customer, is a critical step in the process. KYC is the verification process of an individual’s identity before you start working with them. For financial institutions such as banks, credit unions, and insurance providers, KYC protects them and their customers from the back whip of illegal activities such as money laundering, corruption, terrorist financing and other fraudulent activities.

Here are some KYC compliance steps to help you protect your business:

  • Establish a Customer Identification Program (CIP) by collecting necessary information such as their names, addresses, date-of-birth, etc.
  • Obtain information about the nature of the customer’s business to understand their professional goals with your institution.
  • Establish the beneficial ownership of companies/corporations
  • Perform Risk Assessments to compare the information collected to lists of individuals that are known for corruption, sanctions, criminal activities, bribery, suspicion of money laundering, etc.
  • Set up an identity verification system with the most effective and convenient solution for banks and financial institutions, Intellicheck.

Catch Fraud Early with Intellicheck

One of the best ways to protect your business from fraud and money laundering schemes is to invest in ID authentication platforms with the highest accuracy possible to support your AML compliance efforts.

While other ID scanning solutions are designed to display information on your POS system, Intellicheck can authenticate IDs with 99% accuracy. It informs you from the start whether or not you should even bother funneling someone through your AML compliance procedures. This can save your team tons of time and resources by catching fraudsters in the act in real time. In fact, Intellicheck’s authentication suite can verify an ID in just a matter of seconds with greater accuracy than any other solution out there.

Protect Your Business

Understanding the basics of AML compliance is only the first step towards protecting your business. It is your responsibility to ensure that you deploy foolproof fraud prevention technology to stay AML and BSA compliant. That’s why a sophisticated ID authentication software, such as Intellicheck, can help you catch fraudsters early on, saving you money in the long run.

Failing to catch money-laundering schemes can result in hefty fines, which can cripple smaller banks and cause irreparable damage to larger financial institutions, both in money and reputation.

With Intellicheck’s highly accurate authentication platform, you can cut back the risk of missing a fraudster in the onboarding process. Intellicheck is the industry leader in ID checking solutions and is even utilized by U.S. government institutions to authenticate IDs. 

Verifying Driver’s License Barcodes by State

As a business managing age-restricted purchases and engagements, you know that scanning an ID is the quickest way to verify a person’s identity thanks to the barcode found on the back. But did you know that those barcodes differ on driver’s licenses by state? 

Each state has different information that is displayed when the barcode is scanned. Therefore, you should familiarize yourself and your employees with different driver’s license barcodes by state so they know what to expect when you scan them. This can help catch fakes in real-time as fraudsters may not do their due diligence or have the technology to accurately replicate a barcode. 

Distinct Information on Drivers Licenses by State 

ID data is encoded in different ways and displays distinct information on their respective driver’s license barcodes by state. 

For example, some states’ driver license barcodes, such as South Carolina and Michigan, may display a very limited amount of information when scanned making them easy to replicate. Other states’ driver license barcodes, such as Washington and Wisconsin, will display more in-depth information making it more difficult to replicate. 

In short, where some display basic information, others may go further and reveal more detailed information about the person. The barcode technology is one of the most significant safeguards against identity-related frauds but is by no means a sure-fire solution if you don’t invest in the right one.

Why You Need A Good Barcode Scanner

Technology has enabled ID fraudsters and imposters to produce fakes that are hard to detect with a naked eye. A standard barcode scanner can catch cheaper, poorly made fake IDs, but well-produced fakes can be nearly impossible to identify. In fact, many fake ID producers take pride in their barcode replication skills. 

 All of the producers of fake IDs advertising online use their ability to bypass the standard scanner, especially those used by most bars and restaurants, as the primary value prop when purchasing their product.

In order to really protect your business from fraudsters, you need an ID scanner that goes above and beyond the standard methods. That’s why you may want to consider using the proven, regulatory-compliant identity authentication platform, Intellicheck

Why Intellicheck Is The Best Option

Intellicheck’s ID scanning solution validates drivers licenses with a 99% success rate. It is the most accurate, cost-effective, and user-friendly software available for checking and authenticating IDs, including verifying drivers license by state. 

Intellicheck knows all the details about how barcodes are supposed to be coded, and what to look for. In fact, they work directly with State ID producers to provide feedback on how well new IDs are made. This gives Intellicheck access to a wealth of untapped industry knowledge that standard scanners can’t compete with.

An ID checking solution is only as effective as its coverage. Intellicheck can authenticate the over 250 unique barcode formats from every state and Canadian province. 

And, unlike other ID checking solutions that require the purchase of additional hardware, Intellicheck’s solutions can be installed directly onto your mobile device with a mobile app. This makes the platform more versatile for ventures that are on-the-go like for concerts or festivals. 

Intellicheck understands that different industries require different levels of authentication efforts and therefore may require different features. That’s why Intellicheck offers a suite of authentication solutions designed to meet your specific needs and support the unique regulations of each industry served.

Catch Fakes with the Highest Accuracy

Rather than investing time and resources into memorizing the difference between drivers license barcodes by state, invest in the cost-effective, realtime ID authentication software proven to work by businesses across the country. With Intellicheck, you can catch fakes in the moment regardless of the industry with the highest accuracy possible. This makes it easier to protect your business while saving you from fraudsters and identity thieves.

How to Spot a Fake ID by State

Fake IDs are growing both in number and sophistication as identity thieves get more and more accurate with the details. Whether you are a bouncer at a club, a bartender serving alcohol, or a tobacco or cannabis shop, you must learn to verify an ID properly and detect a fake one from a mile away. 

Always remember the devil is in the details, but there are a few simple steps that can help you spot a fake ID by state:

Standard Security Features

When it comes to identifying and authenticating IDs, there are a few telltale signs that an ID might be fake. We’ve broken them down for you to help you get started:

Check for State-Specific Holograms

Holograms show up like watermarks that become visible when held up to the light. This means they appear as small, hidden background images that are state-specific and difficult to replicate. These holograms vary depending on your state and can help you easily spot a fake ID by the naked eye. 

For many states, such as Arizona and New Hampshire, this will appear as an outline of the state.

Look for Laser Perforation

Laser perforations are small, needle-tip thin holes that form a picture. These holes are usually so small that they aren’t visible to the naked eye unless held up to the light. This presents differently based on the state. 

For example, Texas’s laser perforation appears in the shape of the state while California’s appears as an outline of the California brown bear.

Find UV Imagery

Each state has certain security features that are not visible to the naked eye. Some states’ IDs have a second lighter image that will appear under UV light only.

For Washington, among many other states, this UV image would appear in multiple places as the state seal.

Feel for Laser Embossing

Laser embossing uses a laser to raise the plastic on the front of the ID without affecting the back side. This is difficult to replicate and requires additional tools but, when done correctly, can be very convincing. 

Several states, including Arizona and California, have embossed printing on the date of birth or the signature.

Try The Bend Test

All state IDs use some sort of professional laminate. This is used to seal the UV imagery and protect the card from being damaged. For the bend test, simply take the card and gently bend it into a “U” shape. If the ID is fake, the laminate will bubble due to cheap laminate. 

Use Intellicheck to Improve Accuracy

These tactics can help to spot fake IDs based on state-specific identifiers and can ensure you do your best to stop fraudsters. However, they aren’t always accurate in terms of authentication. Advancements in technology have made it possible for fraudsters to replicate IDs down to the smaller details. In fact, many of these fake ID suppliers use their ability to bypass these security features as a selling point. For example, IDChief, one of the biggest suppliers of fake IDs in the country, boasts “All of our Fake IDs have the correct holograms and material.” 

The only way to accurately catch fakes in real-time is by using identity authentication software like Intellicheck.

Intellicheck is a one-stop solution provider when it comes to validating identification for all business sectors dealing with IDs. Retailers can implement this feature into their point of sale routine to authenticate IDs and easily identify fakes without needing to purchase any additional hardware. Intellicheck’s Age ID can even be downloaded as an app directly to your mobile device making it easily accessible to bartenders and bouncers to validate IDs on the fly. 

Businesses that use Age ID are able to truly optimize their efforts towards preventing the use of fakes. In fact, one liquor store in a college town managed to catch hundreds of fakes within the first month of integration. As students learned that they might lose their fakes, many underage customers stopped trying to purchase liquor from that store altogether, reducing liability. And, seeing as how some insurance premiums will go down if companies crackdown on their authentication efforts, companies can save money to offset the cost of integrating Age ID. See how you can protect your business and cut costs with Intellicheck.

The ID Checking Guide You Didn’t Know You Needed

With the new advancements in modern tech, catching fakes in real-time can be tricky. But just as your team is getting quicker at identifying fake IDs, identity fraudsters are advancing their methods for obtaining and generating fakes that can bypass security measures. For that reason, we’ve created an ID checking guide to help you catch fraudsters in the act:

The Basic, Tell-Tale Signs of a Fake ID

Catching fakes can be easy if you know what to look for. But that’s assuming you have extensive knowledge of individual state’s identifiers. At the very minimum, most retailers, restaurants, and other establishments needing to know how to check an ID should verify the following:

Photo Match

Always make sure that the photo matches the person presenting it. One critical step in our ID checking guide is to observe whether the ears, eyebrows, facial bone structure, and other features are consistent between the ID picture and the presenter.

Confirm Information and Typeset

Each state’s license has different identifiers of validity. Understanding what those are and how to appropriately locate them is critical to finding fake IDs. For some IDs, you can feel the face-side of an ID to check for the perforation on the signature and/or date of birth. Other things to look for include a ghost image, duplicate image, and state seal. At minimum, you should check the expiration date and confirm the information on the ID, such as birthdate, with the individual.

UV and Laser Imagery

UV imagery, also known as blacklight imagery, is a security feature on all 50 state IDs. This is a laser engraved image that is only visible under a blacklight. Another common identifier is laser imagery. This can present differently on a state by state basis, but most can be spotted by holding the ID up to a light.

Why Traditional Methods Are Not Enough

As previously iterated, new technology has made it easy to pass tests visible to the naked eye. In fact, for some fake ID vendors, the ability to bypass these identifiers is the core selling point. After all, who is going to purchase a fake that doesn’t look real?

Online fraudsters and fake ID vendors mastered the art of producing fake IDs that can easily pass the UV light test and are tactically functional. The most common way that businesses have been combating this is with Knowledge-Based Authentication (KBA). This form of verification uses astrological signs, date of birth, and state-specific questions to try and catch fraudsters in the act.

Unfortunately, KBA has become obsolete and ineffective in the last decade due to technological advancements in the ID theft business. So this begs the question: what can businesses do to protect themselves from increasingly accurate fakes?

How to Check IDs with Incredible Accuracy

To catch fakes nowadays you have to go beyond the traditional methods, trusting your naked eye is no longer an effective way to conduct business. To ensure you are catching fake IDs in the moment, the last step in our ID checking guide is adding additional technology to help you authenticate real IDs.

In fact, some fake IDs are so close to the real thing that even trained professionals can’t spot the difference. Intellicheck is a leading solution that provides greater than 99% accuracy.

Retailers, financial institutions and more can easily implement Intellicheck solutions into their point of sale or teller platform routine without any additional hardware to authenticate IDs. You can even deploy Intellicheck solutions for your business in mobile app form to easily identify fakes from your smartphone. This is ideal for smaller retailers, concert venues, bars, and smoke shops that rely on fast turnover to conduct business.

Once installed, bartenders, bouncers, call center agents, retailer clerks or tellers can quickly scan a buyer’s ID barcode and determine, in real-time, whether the ID is authentic.

Together We Can Stop Fraud

If you are a venue vendor, a retailer, or a bar owner, you are expected to stop minors from purchasing alcohol, tobacco or cannabis in order to protect your business from detrimental liability. If you are a financial institution, lender or retailer, you can avoid significant loss in both dollars and merchandise by effectively checking IDs. Intellicheck’s solutions enable all businesses to validate and authenticate IDs in real-time, helping you safeguard your business from the worst possible situations.