SAS Anti-Money Laundering Solution Enables ZA Bank to Become a Pioneer in the New Virtual Banking Era

Enhanced operational and technical readiness empowers ZA Bank to better serve the needs of the local market

ZA Bank, a pioneer among Hong Kong’s new breed of virtual banks, has selected and deployed the SAS Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Solution for Transaction Monitoring, enabling the Bank to enhance its portfolio of virtual bank services. The SAS AML Solution for Transaction Monitoring provides full support for ZA Bank in complying with supervisory requirements on transaction monitoring as required by the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing Ordinance (“AMLO”) and the related HKMA guidelines.

“We are pleased to partner with SAS, the global leader in fraud and anti-money laundering solutions and analytics, which has helped us to achieve several milestones, including being the first virtual bank to launch retail business to the general public in Hong Kong,” said Rockson Hsu, CEO of ZA Bank. “It is of paramount importance for virtual banks to take advantage of innovative technologies and cutting-edge technical architecture for both customer-facing and back-end operations. Under the existing regulatory environment and the ongoing supervisory requirements, the SAS AML Solution provides us with a risk-based approach for transaction monitoring while delivering extensive detection capabilities.”

“The launch of virtual banks has marked a new chapter in Hong Kong’s smart banking era and is expected to bring new dynamics to Hong Kong’s traditional banking sector with its robust technologies. Having supported ZA Bank with the SAS AML Solution for Transaction Monitoring from license authorisation to the successful completion of the Bank’s pilot trial, it is encouraging and inspiring to work with ZA Bank as a pioneer in this new banking era,” said Eric Chiang, General Manager for SAS Hong Kong. “Given the escalating frequency and sophistication of terrorist attacks and the growing number and extent of regulatory initiatives, anti-money laundering issues have been brought to the forefront for banks and other financial institutions. At SAS, we are committed to developing and implementing our industry-leading fraud and AML solutions to address the current and future needs of the banking industry and further accelerate the growth of virtual banking in Hong Kong.”

The SAS AML Solution for Transaction Monitoring helps ZA Bank monitor customer transactions, including trend analysis, relationship monitoring, and customer profiling, for the implementation of risk parameters. Designed with a financial services specific data model, the SAS AML Solution for Transaction Monitoring maps transaction records to support transaction, account, customer and household dimensions. In addition to transaction data, the solution also supports multiple data types with data orchestration to centralise enrichment and transformation, ensuring it is analytics-ready. Engineered on the cloud-native SAS Viya® platform, the SAS AML Solution for Transaction Monitoring offers a cohesive environment for all analytical tasks from data access and preparation to AI, machine learning and other advanced model development, and ultimately to implementation in real-world scenarios. With a risk-based approach to transaction monitoring, it helps ZA Bank file suspicious activity reports and meet all AMLO guidelines and requirements.

“As a new service model, virtual banks are making an all-out effort to get a foothold in the market while navigating complex risk and compliance challenges and protecting themselves from cyber-attacks. SAS has a proven track record and extensive experience in the local banking industry, and our best-of-breed technologies and solutions capabilities supported locally by SAS AML professionals are here to help local virtual banks prosper in this smart banking era,” added Eric Chiang.

About ZA Bank Limited

ZA Bank Limited (“ZA Bank”), licensed by the Hong Kong Monetary Authority (“HKMA”) on 27 March 2019, is one of the first batch of virtual banks to have obtained a banking license in Hong Kong. On 18 December 2019, ZA Bank became the first virtual bank authorised to conduct a pilot trial under the HKMA’s Fintech Supervisory Sandbox. On 24 March 2020, ZA Bank became the first fully-operating virtual bank in Hong Kong. ZA Bank was established by ZhongAn Technologies International Group Limited (“ZA International”). With its “Community-Driven” approach, ZA Bank encourages users to contribute directly to its product development and design process, guiding the bank to design and develop innovative products and services that will better serve the needs of Hong Kong customers.

ZA International was established in Hong Kong in December 2017, by ZhongAn Online P&C Insurance Co., Ltd. (HKEX stock code: 6060), an online-only insurtech company in China, to explore international business development, collaboration and investment opportunities in the areas of fintech and insurtech in overseas markets.

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