RESEARCH REPORT

In brief

In brief

  • Financial firms of every stripe face volatility, rising compliance costs and increased crime. But one-off solutions are ineffective.
  • Adopting an intelligent, data-driven managed services model can be cost efficient and successful, if you ask the right questions.
  • Accenture ticks the boxes and can bring continuous improvements throughout the managed services life cycle.


These are challenging times for financial firms of all sorts. Many are struggling with rising compliance costs, exacerbated by a lack of seasoned, skilled professionals.

One-off fixes, in the form of low-cost, temporary staffing solutions, are neither cost efficient nor effective, and often lack appropriate governance. We believe there is a better way: evolving Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) functions into a data-driven, intelligent, managed services operating model.

With this model in play, we think companies can cost-effectively keep pace with regulatory demand, deliver strategic guidance and power growth. They can deliver this by using automation to improve boost AML and KYC functions, creating efficiencies far beyond what standard staff augmentation might achieve.

How can financial firms build this intelligent operating model? We recommend a three-phased approach that offers stability during design and start-up, while providing flexibility by identifying areas where processes can be enhanced and standardized early on.

Design your transition

To build a managed services approach, financial firms should begin with a transition plan that clearly identifies all requirements. This phase also should define the scope of managed services needed, system and role setup, documentation of processes, and workforce training.

A handful of questions can guide the way to a smooth transition:

What is the service provider’s operational and compliance maturity level? Does the provider have institutional compliance experience? What about AML and KYC subject matter expertise and capabilities?

How quickly can the provider deliver its services? No matter the complexity, can this provider arrange for, train and begin taking on customer volumes within two to three months?

How does the service provider propose to transform the institution’s business? Can this provider offer a fresh, creative take on driving operating model improvements?

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Scale up, but with quality and consistency

Now it’s time to implement operating model changes that yield efficiency gains. This means tackling the agreed-upon KYC client and AML transaction case files ahead of moving to a steady state of operations. Questions to guide the process:

How does the service provider plan to secure the institution’s data? Given General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other regulations, what’s the plan to collect, store, use and protect data?

How much oversight of the managed service is needed? Has this provider baked in a business interaction model, the required controls and necessary oversight?

How does the service provider plan to manage its relationship with the institution? Is there a dedicated team that can support the business in the day-to-day engagement post transition?

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Deliver—with continual enhancement

The last step is to flip the switch and turn on steady state operations. The provider’s role is to continuously strengthen the firm’s processes. Again, a set of questions can verify if continuous improvement would take place:

Does the service provider have continuous improvement capabilities? Can the managed services provider bring its own tools and relationships with leading technology specialists to the table?

What cost efficiencies can the provider deliver? Can the firm gain up to 40% cost efficiencies and see a 95% quality rating on case files?

How quickly can the provider react to unplanned events and challenges? Does the provider show it can keep its client's business up, running and profitable during a global crisis?

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Accenture can deliver

Our managed services framework is built for robustness at every stage of the managed services lifecycle, leveraging knowledge capital gained through hundreds of client engagements. We build resilient AML and KYC functions and regulatory capabilities that deliver sustainable business growth. We also help future-proof compliance and operations by blending SynOps and Applied Intelligence.1

Our resilient AML and KYC-as-a-Service offering can help financial institutions, fintech and digital payment platforms cost effectively fight financial crime and keep compliant.

Contact us to learn how we can help you digitally transform your operations today.

1.Applied Intelligence is Accenture’s approach to combining artificial intelligence (AI) with data analytics and automation to transform an organization’s business across every function and every process at scale.

Philippe Guiral

Managing Director – Strategy & Consulting


Robert Bradley

Principal Director, Compliance as a Service Offering Lead – Accenture Operations


Shahid Ghaloo

Senior Manager – Strategy & Consulting, AML/KYC as a Service Lead

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