We have worked closely with fintech startups for years designing novel approaches to regulatory compliance.
FinTech startups tend to underestimate the reach of compliance regulations. If you are providing a product or service that interfaces with money then you will have some kind of compliance liability.
All FinTech firms, regardless of size, should be committed to preventing the use of their products or services by persons seeking to launder the proceeds of criminal activity, finance terrorism, or engage in any other illicit activity.
With any new line of business, the central AML compliance question will be whether the firm can reasonably manage that risk.
We can help you with:
- designing policies to comply with local regulations
- registering for money transmission licenses in various countries
- screening customers to reduce money laundering risk
- performing transaction surveillance on high-risk users
Design philosophyOur “design philosophy” for compliance programs for clients is encapsulated in the following questions we always ask:
What is the growth target?
What is the geographical distribution and clustering of users?
What is the risk tolerance of the startup?
What level of capital resource allocation can the startup put towards compliance?
What licenses does the startup want to/need to apply for?
What is the regulatory environment of the operational jurisdiction of the startup?
What is AML and how do we comply with it?
Anti-Money Laundering, or AML, are rules designed to prevent money laundering and deputize business allowing people to transfer money, like banks or certain cryptocurrency businesses. AML rules require businesses to engage in “Know Your Customer” (KYC) techniques that allow them to detect who their users are, to record and detect suspicious activity on the platform, and to limit certain high-risk actions such as large volume transactions by untrusted parties. Although these laws are ever-changing, and in many cases have not caught up to cryptocurrency businesses, we have worked in Asia, Europe, the United States, and the Caribbean to not only design compliance programs, but to craft new policy for governments looking to understand how to apply AML to this emerging space.
Do startups really need a compliance program?
Many times, the best approach for a startup is to establish their proof of concept and then navigate compliance needs at a later date. However, sometimes successful startups will look back and realize they started on the wrong foot, and wish they could start over. We are happy to consult with you for free and help determine where your business stands. If we don't think there is a high risk in your beginning phases, we will let you know.
How are we expected to do compliance like a large financial firm?
Compliance programs are risk-based. That is, they can and should be tailored to your specific firm size and industry category. The regulators do not expect you to have a commercial bank size compliance program.
We are already incorporated in the USA. Is it too late to change jurisdictions?
We've never met a client for whom it was too late to do this. Sometimes it requires some creativity, which is one of our firm's greatest strengths.
We are operating a cryptocurrency business in a jurisdiction that doesn’t have a ‘crypto-license’, what should we do?
Depending on your business model and nationality, we will design the customized compliance program that will either bring you under an existing regulatory framework, or allow you to ‘self-regulate’ in anticipation of one. Our goal is to ensure you can fulfill your business needs and goals while protecting yourself from the very serious regulatory and compliance risks that lurk in the crypto space.