case study

How Metal Pay Cuts Investigation Times by 50% with Unit21

Blockchain-Based Payments

Introduction

Unit21 customer, Metal Pay, has a mission to bridge the gap between decentralized finance (DeFi) and traditional finance (TradFi) through the use of blockchain technology, regulatory compliance, and innovative solutions. Their core competencies are at the intersection of blockchain technology and regulatory compliance, and their motto is to always act in good faith with full transparency and accountability.

In an effort to understand how Metal Pay is successfully using Unit21’s software, we interviewed Compliance & Risk Operations Manager, Paulo Donati, to get his feedback and unique insights.

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“No one has to remember about an investigation. We now have a system in place that reminds us to revisit the case in an appropriate amount of time which has allowed us the freedom to prioritize our work with the knowledge that everything will be waiting there for us when we do have a moment to focus.”

Paulo Donati
Compliance & Risk Operations Manager at Metal Pay
50%

Reduction in investigation times after adopting Unit21's Transaction Monitoring and Case Management solution.

A Little Background: The Metal Pay and Unit21 Story

When Paulo joined Metal Pay, the company was already finalizing its contract with Unit21. However, prior to implementing Unit21’s Transaction Monitoring and Case Management software, Metal Pay was using an internally built system which was difficult to update and costly to maintain. 

When referring to internally-developed systems like the one that Metal Pay had in place before moving to Unit21, Paulo noted that “if it’s not developed in a scalable way, it can be a bottleneck for both the compliance team and dev team. Having a quality case management system improves a compliance team’s organization and time management, which are critical for time-sensitive reporting obligations.”

The decision to move away from an in-house system to a software platform like Unit21 was an easy one, and choosing Unit21 as their risk and compliance operations solution was also a bit of a no-brainer. When asked about which other vendors they considered, Paulo mentioned that Unit21 was already being utilized for a different Metal Pay product.

Given everything was working well for that team, they decided to keep working with Unit21 instead of vetting other options.

Why Metal Pay Chose Unit21

Ultimately, they chose Unit21 because they were able to see first-hand how the product is constantly improving and how intent the Unit21 team is to listen to customer needs and address their pain points. They recognized that Unit21 continuously incorporates customer feedback and ideas, and this was a key selling point for them.

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“It’s clear that Unit21 has a talented team that knows how to build quality software. Going with a legacy case management system is extremely costly and for the most part, they are not innovating enough to keep up with the needs of fast-growing fintechs and crypto companies.”

Paulo Donati
Compliance & Risk Operations Manager at Metal Pay

“In compliance, there’s a lot of stress around keeping track of a lot of different things. Prior to Unit21, there was less organization, which leads to more stress. Unit21 has provided people with a clearer process on their day-to-day role which has improved team morale.”

Paulo Donati

Compliance & Risk Operations Manager at Metal Pay

How Unit21 Is Being Utilized

In terms of how Paulo and his team are using Unit21, he is pleased with the flexibility that the Unit21 software offers when it comes to testing different rules, iterating on escalation workflows, and experimenting around operational procedures for alerts and cases. 

He pointed out specifically that one of Unit21’s key features, shadow mode (or “silent mode”), has helped him run transaction monitoring rules in the background that don’t affect his alert queues, but allow him to investigate these “shadow” alerts to get an understanding of the quality of a given rule that might be considered for production.

In a nutshell, as an alternative to historical validation of detection modeling rules, this feature allows rules to run in "silent mode" where alerts are not sent into production queues for review, but can still be used as part of the validation results. This feature has helped Metal Pay quickly test and iterate their transaction monitoring rules so they can continuously improve upon their process.

Driving Impact for the Risk and Compliance Team

On top of their positive experience with some of Unit21’s core features, using Unit21 has had an immense impact on the compliance team’s day-to-day workflow. For one, the Case Management system provides tools that ultimately lead to a more organized and less stressful investigation process. 

“No one has to remember about an investigation. It sits in a case and we know we can come back to it at any point in time if we don’t have time right then to conduct the investigation. We now have a system in place that reminds us to revisit the case in an appropriate amount of time which has allowed us the freedom to prioritize our work with the knowledge that everything will be waiting there for us when we do have a moment to focus.”

And with the ability to streamline the SAR filing and drafting process, the team has not only reduced the amount of time it takes to complete an investigation and file a report, but they are also not wasting their time on tedious, manual tasks like searching for and inputting information into clunky forms through the BSA website.

With Unit21, many of the form fields are auto-filled and the report can be filed with a click of a button.

“In compliance, there’s a lot of stress around keeping track of a lot of different things. Prior to Unit21, there was less organization, which leads to more stress. Unit21 has provided people with a clearer process on their day-to-day role which has improved team morale.”

As a result of these workflow improvements, the Metal Pay compliance team is catching more suspicious activity, which is easily backed up by the number of report filings they have been able to make. In 2021, Metal Pay saw a roughly 350% increase in SAR reports filed after implementing
Unit21’s software.
Also, Paulo estimates that each analyst’s time spent on cases and SAR filings has been reduced by about 50%, which has had a drastic impact on the team’s productivity and daily output.

Unit21 as a Partner: Closing Thoughts


When asked to sum up Unit21’s value to Metal Pay’s risk and compliance operation, Paulo left us with his thoughts about not just the product, but also about how deeply Unit21 cares about its customers. 

“I think Unit21 possibly has the best technical team focused on AML compliance products, which means, in addition to the great products they already have, there’s tons of potential for this company to continue innovating and providing new features that compliance departments eventually feel that they couldn’t operate without. Additionally, Unit21’s active engagement with its customers is unlike any other compliance vendor I’ve seen in this industry. I don’t know of any company providing this level of support to their customers.”

We are proud to have Metal Pay as a customer and would be happy to help if your team is struggling to adapt your legacy system to the evolving needs of your organization.

If you are interested in trying out Unit21 for your risk and compliance operations, schedule a demo to see it in action today.

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“I think Unit21 possibly has the best technical team focused on AML compliance products. Additionally, Unit21’s active engagement with its customers is unlike any other compliance vendor I’ve seen in this industry. I don’t know of any company providing this level of support to their customers.”

Paulo Donati

Compliance & Risk Operations Manager at Metal Pay

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