4 Reasons Why Customers Switch to Unit21

May 9, 2022

Real talk: a litany of customers come to us jaded and forlorn from their former risk and compliance vendors, looking to make a switch. 

Whether their previous system was too inflexible, the customer support was non-existent, or the system didn’t function as expected, we’ve seen several trends in what other solutions lack that customers come to us for. As a result, we are doubling down to provide a best-in-class product and experience, even for those on the rebound. 

Here, we’ve compiled the four main reasons companies switch to Unit21 and why they end up sticking around. If you’re reconsidering your risk and compliance system and have a wandering eye, this post is for you.


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Why Customers Break Up with Their Current Fraud and AML Solutions and Switch to Unit21

Our Rule Building Solutions Are No-Code

Rule creation can be complex – and it’s something we have worked hard to simplify. 

But in retrospect, customers left their exes (let’s call them that) because their engineering and product teams needed to hard-code the software in order to make rules, which continuously bottlenecked processes for their Risk and Compliance teams. 

Some companies attempt to build their own solution in-house, which can be costly and take a long time (more than a year in some cases). 

Others end up spending several months working with vendors and engineering to set up and define their fraud and AML systems to meet compliance standards, which requires ramping up with the company infrastructure and the regulatory standards they are subject to. 

Unfortunately, in both of these cases, communication gaps and time lags between Risk and Compliance teams and Engineering resulted in subpar rules and models. This is because handing rules and models off to IT/engineering may lead to misinterpretations about a specification, leading to unnecessary back-and-forth with deployments.

On top of the challenges with communication, there is often a disconnect between what an operator knows versus what the engineering is building for them.

Conversely, since our solution is no-code, it doesn’t require a heavy lift from engineering to update. Risk and Compliance teams can test and tune rules at the click of a button, allowing them the flexibility to make changes and optimizations in seconds, not weeks.

Unit21 Offers Access and Control Over Rules

Risk and Compliance teams are better suited than engineering to create the rules and models they use for anomaly detection and investigations and we know this. This is why Unit21 offers tried-and-true, sophisticated pre-built series of transaction monitoring rules and scenarios, and typologies out of the box to be compliance-ready on day one after deployment. 

We provide 1,000+ pre-built rules and scenario models on common typology and integrations vetted by compliance experts and our partner and customer network. For example, Japanese media giant LINE’s payments arm got its transaction monitoring system up and running in weeks, and in 90 days reduced their false positives by 60%

Customers can easily customize pre-built rules, workflows, and permissions to adapt to unique changes in company and regulations - whether it’s a wire or BTC transfer. People on the front lines create the defense. And now, customers are using Unit21’s dynamic model builder to create their own rules and typology, all without writing one single line of code. 

Too Many False-Positives

Yes, unsurprisingly, too many false positives are a recurring issue. Compliance alert systems based on standard regulatory technology trigger thousands of false positives every day. 

False-positive rates sometimes exceed 95%, and each of these false alarms must be reviewed by a Compliance Officer, which invites opportunities for inefficiency and human error. In incumbent rule-based immutable AML models, the simpleness leads to large volumes of false positives. 

False positives erroneously disguise actual illegitimate activity. The direct cost alone of reviewing false positives can take up an entire department’s budget. High-volume, low-value alerts overwhelm Risk and Compliance teams. 

Financial organizations have to reach out to their provider for rule-tuning, putting additional pressure on efficiency and response times. This results in higher operational costs and higher frustration amongst analysts. AML false positives can cost financial organizations over $3 billion every year.

Current solutions’ lack of testing and visibility over transaction monitoring operations are the primary driver of high false-positive rates. Customers often don’t have a practical and timely way to test rules and models with their old vendors to find ways to minimize false positives. Even when a change is made with an existing or in-house solution, the environment may have changed by the time it is implemented, resulting in even more false positives. 

Testing is Critical to Reduce False Positives

Unit21 was developed to run experiments with agility. Customers get excited when they see they can run experiments with different rules in minutes. 

Bakkt achieved a steady false positive rate of 15% with Unit21 by validating and optimizing rules. Unit21 allows customers to test over historical data on the fly and see precisely what would have been flagged. 

Customers also run rules in shadow mode to observe the effects on future data without committing to a potentially high volume of alerts and irrelevant flags. Testing also allows teams without any data in the system to build validated models from day one. Neobank customer, Envel reduced rule validation/deployment time by 80-90% by testing and tuning rules with past and future data to see what works for more accuracy. 

Too Many Systems 

We have many conversations around the platform over “best-in-breed” point solutions, and more often than not, having a unified system is the more practical and cost-effective solution. Usually, separate AML and fraud departments manage different software programs and execute their own sets of processes. 

This has led to operational inefficiencies where data is lost and anomalies are not correctly identified. Providing critical data across multiple systems is an essential first step for any fraud and AML surveillance program. 

This can be a beast when financial services receive low- to high-risk data from billions of transactions across different branches and countries. Consolidating this data is a considerable barrier even the most sophisticated organizations struggle with. 

Fraud and AML analysts often resort to manually compiling data to perform analysis, and the siloed data makes it difficult for comprehensive analysis. Transactional data is usually held in numerous legacy systems, making it difficult to connect the information and limiting the effectiveness of risk and compliance analysis. 

Financial organizations often use different AML technology vendors for identity onboarding, transaction monitoring, and case management. This means leadership needs to deal with multiple contracts and checks, while Risk and Compliance teams have to inconveniently toggle between different systems to detect and manage anomalous transactions. 

Using multiple vendors can lead to inconsistent data and disparate views and make operators prone to errors – coupled with the higher costs of installing and managing several systems. 

Additionally, when trying to govern and trace back data and analytics for regulators, the trails may be obscured using the different systems. Visibility is vital in audits, and organizations have to find ways for better data governance and transparency. 

Unit21: All Your Data. One Consolidated System.

Unit21 enables teams to view all their data in one dashboard with multiple options for data ingestion. In addition, Unit21’s customizable data model simplifies integration and data mapping. 

With a unified solution from onboarding orchestration and transaction monitoring to case management, Unit21 works with consistent datasets in one consolidated view to track users for anomaly detection and investigations. 

This gives operators more visibility and context to the user journey and provides for more accurate assessments. Unit21 also provides an immutable audit trail for any action on any rule, alert, case, or SAR filing. It is also easier for managers, as they have to deal with one vendor instead of multiple and can do so more cost-effectively. 

Customer Success That’s Worth Talking About 

This may sound cliche, but we are great at setting customers up for success. Again, users commend our customer success team - even making other teams at Unit21 teams jealous…but that’s fodder for another blog. 

All our customers have access to support and training throughout their journey - all included in the licensing cost. Most other vendors charge for a rule change or advisory services. At Unit21, customers can make feature requests and get support within minutes versus the 3-5 days they have experienced with other solution providers. 

We have compliance experts on board with our network of partners and clients that can help with long-term strategy and get ahead of problems and opportunities. Customers have complained about the time and cost of obtaining any support or advice from their ex-vendor – sending them running to our support team. 

Prizepool is one customer who reduced their fraud rate by 50% with Unit21 and credited their achievement to the access and support they received. We take a proactive and customer-centric approach to customer engagement and are constantly building to improve. 

And you’ll see it in what our customers have to say about us

Why Switch to Unit21? Final Thoughts

Breakups happen.

They’re sometimes challenging to navigate, but in the end, getting an upgrade is worth it. And as a platform that is constantly innovating and making solutions accessible to Risk and Compliance teams with unprecedented control – the buck stops at Unit21.

Get on our calendar and see what we are all about!

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By: Priya Chandrasekaranr and Manar Kulkhan

Priya and Manar are account execs who regularly speak to risk and compliance professionals to understand their diverse challenges and help them get ahead of them. 

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