MAS partners with AvePoint for digital platform to deter money laundering, terrorist financing

This government-sanctioned project may be replicated globally.

AvePoint, a software company providing a cloud platform to optimise SaaS operations (software as a service) operations and secure collaboration in the digital workplace, has won a highly competitive bidding process to launch a digital platform for global financial institutions in Singapore.

The company’s CEO, Dr. Tianyi “TJ” Jiang, said that Singapore has always been a leader in digital transformation and tech innovation, and that is why the company is investing in growing its business and establishing its research and development hub in the country.

The Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is planning to launch a digital platform to prevent money laundering and terrorism financing while protecting client privacy.

In an interview with the Singapore Business Review, Jiang emphasised that this is the first instance in the world where a regulator is actually working with the largest banks to share data.

The banks that are part of this project include HSBC, Standard Chartered, and Citibank along with local banks such as DBS, UOB, and OCBC.

“The genesis of this major project is actually legislated,” said Jiang. “The banks actually spent two years to formulate and essentially codify the exact amount of data to share transactions.”

To achieve the dual goal of preventing money laundering and terrorism financing, while protecting client privacy, AvePoint is employing a platform that will use machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms that can detect certain anonymous patterns.

“Many other regulators are watching this,” said Jiang, noting that the project has legal legislative support, and all provisions are in play to protect clients’ privacy and identity data.

“If I’m embarking on data aggregation and data sharing, of course, the effectiveness of this platform… has a very high priority and value project here [in Singapore]. And that has a real opportunity to be replicated globally,” he added.

The software company CEO who has 17,000 customers worldwide expressed confidence in this project, especially since MAS has been a client of AvePoint for over 10 years. “We actually have been implementing quite a bit of new document and knowledge management, and compliant case management systems there,” he said.

Once data migration is completed and the production system is operated, the platform will help regulators and banks identify outlier-type situations since the majority of transactions in banks are legitimate for business growth in the region.

Whilst the formal launching of the project will be later this year, most viewers will not see the system until they hear of some big cases, as this is one of those systems that operate in the background to help regulators and banks identify unusual behaviours.

“We hope that those cases are few and far in between,” said Jiang, who expects to achieve the project’s dual goals in the first year of implementation.

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