FinCEN’s new Innovation Hours Program will facilitate demos of tech products, services to enhance BSA/AML efforts

Treasury’s financial crimes unit on Friday announced a new program that will allow financial institutions, technology providers, and other firms involved in financial services the chance to present new, emerging innovative products and services and approaches designed to enhance anti-money laundering (AML) efforts and the countering of the financing of terrorism (CFT).

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) Innovation Hours Program is part of a broader Innovation Initiative, the agency said, that also includes consideration of exceptive relief for pilot programs designed to facilitate innovative solutions to AML/CFT compliance challenges and ongoing efforts to provide enhanced feedback and information sharing programs.

FinCEN, in an online FAQ about the program, says that to participate in the Innovation Hours Program, it requires “at a minimum” that:

  1. The requester provides or uses financial or regulatory products or services that comply with Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) regulations or are intended to enhance compliance with those regulations.
  2. The presentation or demonstration addresses how such products or services, or innovative uses of existing tools, can enhance financial institutions’ BSA/AML compliance programs, including, for example, aspects involving risk identification, transaction monitoring, and suspicious activity reporting, or otherwise improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the AML/CFT framework to make more valuable information available to law enforcement to better protect the U.S. financial system.
  3. Products must be in production or ready for deployment.
  4. The company is not the subject of a federal or other criminal or civil enforcement action.

FinCEN expects to host demonstrations the second Thursday of each month, from 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. ET, according to an online registration page. Requests from financial technology (fintech) and regulatory technology (regtech) firms and financial institutions are encouraged. FinCEN says it will give primary consideration to requests from entities that are at the operational stage.

The agency also said it expects to hold events in the Washington D.C., metro area, as well as some regional events, that focus on financial services-related innovation.

Companies interested in meeting with FinCEN should submit a web request and provide applicable background information about their firm’s business and innovative products, the agency said. Requests will be accepted on a rolling basis.

FinCEN Announces Its Innovation Hours Program

FinCEN Innovation Hours Program info

Innovation Hours Request

Innovation Hours FAQ