case study

Patriot Bank reduces noise with Unit21’s transaction monitoring & streamlines SAR filings

Banking

Introduction

Patriot Bank, a forward-thinking financial institution, recognized the increasing complexity of managing anti-money laundering (AML) and fraud prevention for its Payments division. Seeking a solution that could offer an adaptable and scalable solution, Patriot Bank turned to Unit21 after a tradeshow encounter involving a Yeti, a card, and a "Fraud Fighters" shirt.

Introduction

Patriot Bank, a forward-thinking financial institution, recognized the increasing complexity of managing anti-money laundering (AML) and fraud prevention for its Payments division. Seeking a solution that could offer an adaptable and scalable solution, Patriot Bank turned to Unit21 after a tradeshow encounter involving a Yeti, a card, and a "Fraud Fighters" shirt.

“Unit21 built trust with us. With other vendors, there were always workarounds for our specific requirements. But, it became clear Unit21 operated differently. There was always a solution to be found, which helped build trust that our specific requirements would be met.”

VP, BSA/Fraud Officer

Background

With a dual structure comprising a Banking Division and a Payments Division, Patriot Bank caters to a broad spectrum of financial products. As the Payments Division ventured into new offerings like reloadable corporate and payroll cards across many co-branded partners, the bank's need for a flexible Transaction Monitoring solution became apparent. Unit21's platform, known for its no-code configuration, fit perfectly into Patriot Bank's expanding operations.

The Challenge

Patriot Bank's unique challenge lay in its diverse set of products, program managers, and co-branded partnerships, each requiring tailored monitoring strategies. The complexity of these requirements became more acute as the bank's Payment Division transitioned to a Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) model, which highlighted the limitations of its previous Transaction Monitoring system. This system could not meet the bank’s varied data needs and failed to monitor suspicious activity effectively across its portfolio. This issue was particularly acute when adapting rules for their different Fintech partners. The rigid platform prevented it from tailoring rules to match its various Fintech clients' unique products and transaction behaviors, each serving distinct markets and customer bases. 

This situation was further exacerbated by the insufficient support Patriot Bank received from their previous vendor, particularly in addressing problems or developing additional features that the bank had explicitly requested.

The Search for the Solution

The search for a new tool was influenced significantly by Unit21's team, who demonstrated a deep understanding of Patriot Bank's challenges. The bank's journey towards selecting Unit21 included vetting a handful of other vendors, including those that were too aggressive or dismissive. Unit21's willingness to find solutions and build trust was crucial in the bank's decision to partner with them.

“Unit21 built trust with us. With other vendors, there were always workarounds for our specific requirements. But, it became clear Unit21 operated differently. There was alway a solution to be found, which helped build trust that our specific requirements would be met.”

Implementation Journey

The implementation process kicked off with an ambitious 12-week timeline. Despite previous challenges with data export from the old platform, Unit21's system was operational and ingesting their data within days. The bank lauded Unit21's customer success and implementation teams for their efficiency, marking a stark difference from past experiences.

Looking Ahead: 2024 and Beyond

As Patriot Bank evolves, it plans to expand its fraud detection rule set, dive deeper into metrics to understand alert volumes and rule performance and enhance documentation processes for better compliance. The flexibility of Unit21's platform is pivotal in customizing rules for specific bank program managers and their co-brand partnerships.

“Unit21’s flexibility allows us to tailor these rules specifically for our program managers and their co-branded partnerships.”

“Unit21’s customizable workflows have been instrumental in improving our efficiency. By allowing us to categorize cases and alerts, we have significantly enhanced our alert management process. This level of customization and flexibility with Unit21 is expected to play a crucial role in our growth strategies as we continue to evolve.”

VP, BSA/Fraud Officer
Patriot Bank

The Results

Patriot Bank needed solutions that would cater to its fintech clients' unique business models. Unit21's platform enables the bank to customize its fraud detection approaches, providing crucial adaptability in a rapidly evolving financial landscape.

While it’s easy days in going live with Unit21, the team instantly saw a reduction in the sheer volume of alerts due to Unit21’s ability to recognize duplicates better and more efficiently arm Patriot Bank program managers with the right alerts to take action on.  

Additionally, Unit21 has simplified the case management process so that when a partner flags suspicious behavior, it’s streamlined to determine if it’s SAR-worthy. With less back-and-forth between teams and a centralized way of tracking, the weekly time savings are noteworthy. 

Partnership and Audit Readiness

The bank's relationship with its program managers is defined by a dual verification system, ensuring comprehensive data availability. As audit season approaches, Patriot Bank feels prepared and confident with Unit21, having received positive feedback from the industry about their choice in transaction monitoring systems with Unit21.

“At conferences there are great conversations going on with consultants and regulators that are looking at these types of businesses like Unit21. This helps banks build confidence if they choose to partner with their Transaction Monitoring system.”

Concluding thoughts

Unit21's partnership with Patriot Bank exemplifies how tailored solutions and a customer-centric approach can transform fraud detection and AML compliance in the banking sector. As Patriot Bank grows, its collaboration with Unit21 is poised to evolve, reinforcing its commitment to safeguarding its operations and enhancing customer trust.

“Patriot Bank's experience with Unit21 has been overwhelmingly positive, highlighted by the platform's ease of use, customization capabilities, and user-friendly design. The bank appreciates Unit21's proactive approach to relationship building and their genuine interest in meeting the bank's needs.”

VP, BSA/Fraud Officer
Patriot Bank

At Unit21, we believe that combating financial crime demands a unified front. By harnessing the full potential of data, streamlining workflows, and bringing teams together, our Risk & AML Compliance infrastructure helps teams stop malicious actors with precision. Our adaptable risk engine and versatile case manager empower Risk &  AML Compliance teams to wield expert data analysis without the need for extensive engineering support. This resonates seamlessly with the ever-evolving landscape of financial crime prevention.

In 2023, we monitored more than 4 billion transactions at a value of $2.77 trillion, handled over 28,000 suspicious activity reports, and prevented more than $4.3 billion in fraud attempts. Uniquely positioned and well-funded, we have raised nearly $100 million from Google, Tiger Global, ICONIQ Capital, Jack Dorsey, Diane Greene, and other leading VCs. 

Interested in learning more? Let us create a custom demo instance for you to try out.

Want to take this case study with you? Click below to download it:

Download Case Study

“Unit21’s flexibility allows us to tailor these rules specifically for our program managers and their co-branded partnerships.”

VP, BSA/Fraud Officer

Patriot Bank

Getting started is easy

See first-hand how Unit21
can help bolster your risk & compliance operations