Security & Fraud

Western Union Completes Compliance Upgrades To Fight Money Laundering

The Western Union Company and Arizona Atty. Gen. Mark Brnovich announced Monday (June 12) that they have successfully completed the secondary recommendations for the Southwest Border program, aimed at combating money laundering.

In a press release, the company said the Superior Court of the State of Arizona accepted the conclusions of an independent monitor’s final report, concluding and closing the monitor’s engagement. This milestone demonstrates the enhancements made by Western Union to its compliance programs and its anti-money laundering (AML) efforts.

“The partnership between the Arizona attorney general’s office and Western Union resulted in a groundbreaking effort to combat illegal enterprises that are funded through money laundering,” Brnovich said in the press release. “I appreciate all that we have accomplished, and I urge other money service providers to take similar measures to help prevent human smuggling, cut off financing for terrorist networks and protect victims of fraud.”

Over the last five years, Western Union has increased overall compliance funding around the globe by more than 200 percent, and more than 20 percent of its workforce is now dedicated to compliance functions. During this time, many state, national and international regulators, and law enforcement bodies have commended Western Union for its technology innovations, anti-money laundering and other compliance programs, such as developing custom algorithms to help combat money laundering and terrorist financing via online payments or money orders and for assisting with numerous investigations, it said.

“We take our responsibilities seriously — to protect our customers and to partner with law enforcement at all levels to detect, deter and prevent our services from being used for illicit purposes,” said Western Union Chief Compliance Officer Jacqueline Molnar in the same press release. “We appreciate the close partnership we have with the Arizona attorney general’s office, which has helped us strengthen our global compliance programs and create a safer environment for our customers to send money to friends and family worldwide.”

The move to overhaul compliance for money laundering came as part of a 2010 settlement with the state of Arizona.

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