“Technology continues to move at an accelerated pace, therefore our local financial ecosystem, inclusive of government, businesses and professionals, must use all tools at its disposal to succeed in this new environment and remain the financial hub of the Caribbean.”

This was the overarching sentiment expressed by Chandradath Maharaj, Vice President Financial Markets Development of the Trinidad & Tobago International Financial Centre (T&T IFC) as he addressed the participants at the TECH AML 2021 Virtual Conference on Tuesday 16th March 2021. The conference hosted by NEM Leadership Consultant is one of the leading conferences for Anti-Money Laundering (AML)/Counter-Terrorism Financing (CFT) and compliance professionals in the region.

During his presentation titled: Creating A FinTech Enabled Ecosystem – Driving Change, Managing Risks and Creating Solutions, Mr. Maharaj reviewed the current fintech landscape in Trinidad and Tobago and described the benefits of fintech applications for businesses and consumers. He further discussed the importance of collaboration and integrating tech-based solutions that can help professionals keep abreast with a constantly changing financial environment.

“Criminals are becoming versed in using technology to commit crimes. As such, businesses and professionals must keep pace with the technology and tactics used by criminals as well as the technologies that can help pinpoint these activities and mitigate risk for business and consumers,” he added.

He listed some of the technologies and strategies that could be employed by professionals, which included:

  • Know Your Customer (KYC) tech in FinTech Transaction Monitoring
  • Building and maintenance of a robust cybersecurity infrastructure
  • Formulating systems testing, monitoring and incident response plans
  • Using machine learning technology to review verified money laundering and to identify obscure predictive variables
  • Integrating Customer Due Diligence (CDD) and Enhanced Due Diligence (EDD) policies and process which will allow for the review of high-risk individuals or companies and provide a greater level of scrutiny

Mr. Maharaj stressed that the landscape was complex, and each territory was different with regards to its legislative agenda and framework, its regulatory environment, and its overall culture towards money and technological innovation.

He further said, “COVID-19 has changed everything and there is an increased focus on digitization and digitalization. With this, there has been a rise of e-commerce and focus on fintech to facilitate business continuity and provide convenience to customers.” He urged the participants to keep learning and be open to sharing their knowledge, case studies and findings with others so usable solutions can be created.

He identified education as the key to ensuring that consumers are comfortable with using the various fintech applications and they feel secure in knowing that their data is protected.

– Press release