March 21, 2002

Financial services firms of all stripes face new requirements to combat money laundering and terrorist financing. Fortunately, there are several technology solutions that can help.

But under ambitious timetables and the unyielding need to succeed, the scarce resource isn't effective technology--it's implementation expertise. That's one reason Searchspace has teamed up with IBM to help financial services firms meet their obligations under the USA PATRIOT Act.

"Banks need a provider with the 'bandwidth' to help," said Ian Horobin, global product offering manager at Searchspace, a New York software company specializing in artificial intelligence-based solutions for the financial services industry. Bandwidth, in this case, refers to the international presence of locally available technology experts for help with integration and post-sales support, said Horobin.

Furthermore, the information-handling requirements of the USA PATRIOT Act increase the need for messaging middleware. Combing for suspicious activities requires access to numerous systems within the bank, which may be located in separate business units, facilities, operating systems and applications. That's where a middleware product such as IBM's MQ Series can form part of the solution, taking part of existing infrastructure.

"There are very few banks without MQ already," said Chip Wickenden, finance industry solutions executive at IBM.