Bankers can automate their wire transfer record keeping with a new product from Dallas-based Atchley Systems Inc.
Comply/Wire is designed to help banks comply with anti-money-laundering laws. The system keeps track of all funds transfers, making it easy for banks to access information.
The software can also help analyze transactions. For example, a banker can call up all transfers Over a certain amount, to a certain country, or by a certain person or group.
Jim Atchley, president and owner of the company, said the sheer number of transfers in the industry - an estimated two billion every day - necessitates automation.
Program Spots Patterns
The software, which Mr. Atchley said is the first of its kind, can also' show patterns of illegal activity by analyzing transactions. For example; a banker might find that a customer repeatedly makes large cash deposits just before wiring a lot of money to a bank in the Cayman Islands.
Regulators are starting to look to banks to point out those patterns, he said. "They want banks to help detect where criminal activity is occurring, rather than just keeping records," he said.
Comply/Wire initially costs $25,000, and then $3,000 a year for maintenance, which includes regulatory updates and telephone support.
Mr. Atchley started the company in 1986 with his son Brant, a former banker. They rolled the product out at the beginning of this year. He said he recognized the need for compliance help in large banks with many areas to track.
He said he also saw a new wave of fraud on the horizon: "At the time we started, we thought banking was in for some bad years."
The eight-employee company has its software in only 150 banks, but those customers are some of the biggest, including Chase Manhattan, Wachovia, NationsBank, Banc One, Comerica, and Wells Fargo.
Atchley's other two products are Comply/CTR, a currency transaction report record-keeping product, and an Expedited Funds Availability Act compliance product.
Although the company plans to produce a broad range of compliance products in the long term, it is focusing on money laundering for now, Mr. Atchley said.
The next product to expect, he said, would automate suspicious-transaction tracking. This system would monitor Customer activity, Mr. Atchley said. It would notify the banker, for example, if a customer deposited $20,000 one day, then withdrew it all three days later.