Jaime Ramírez ADT podcast cover
Episode: 46

Jaime Ramírez - Financial crime risk management

Posted on: 25 Nov 2021
Jaime Ramírez ADT podcast cover

Jaime Ramírez is the founder and CEO of Preventor, a US-based company focusing on ID verification and financial crime risk management.

In this episode, we discuss financial crime risk management. Jaime talks about when and how he got into this field, and how it has evolved over the years. We place a particular focus on the most recent developments throughout the crisis and take a look at what this increase in digitalization will mean for the future of how financial institutions operate and manage risk.


Links & mentions:


“It goes in both ways. The demand is to use more utilization to increment the number of people to start doing business remotely, but at the same time, it also opens the door for other things, like fraud, crime, so it's in both ways.” 

Welcome to the Agile Digital Transformation Podcast, where we explore different aspects of digital transformation and digital experience with your host, Tim Butara, content and community manager at Agiledrop. 

Tim Butara: Hello, everyone. Thanks for tuning in. Our guest today is Jaime Ramírez, founder and CEO of Preventor. They're a US based company focusing on ID verification and financial crime risk management. This latter one will also be our topic for today. So we'll take a look at how different aspects of this current crisis are impacting the field of financial crime risk management and how to best approach it. Welcome Jaime. It's really great having you with us today. Do you want to add anything, or should we just jump straight ahead to the questions? 

Jaime Ramírez: Hi, Tim. How are you? Thank you for having me here in your podcast. 

Tim Butara: It's great to have you. And I'm doing well. I'm excited about having this conversation with you, Jaime. 

Jaime Ramírez: Okay. Me too. 

Tim Butara: So can you first tell us what led you to start focusing on financial crime risk management? 

Jaime Ramírez: Yeah, that's a good question. It's been a long time that I've been working in this arena, actually, the day right after the 9/11, our company, we were doing consulting services for a local bank here in Miami. And then when this happens, a new regulation comes directly from the Financial Intelligence Unit asking for more information about these 19 people. So this really was the time that I started working on the financial crime risk management. And from there, everything evolved. And then it was one requirement and another and another. And now it's a big platform. 

Tim Butara: That's very interesting. It means that you've both been in the field for a really long time, probably even before we introduced digital in this field. But right now, a lot of it is based on digital, probably. 

Jaime Ramírez: Yes, correct. You’re exactly right. 

Tim Butara: We know that the Covid crisis has really accelerated digitalization, so I'm betting that this had some kind of impact on Preventor and the work that you do. 

Jaime Ramírez: Yes. The Covid actually was an accelerator of the digitalization, right? Before Covid, there were a lot of companies talking about how to digitalize the identity of the people, the businesses, to do it remotely. But it was a lot of resistance from the businesses. But after, during or after the pandemic, this is not anymore, I wish, it’s a need now. It's something that most of the companies are looking to implement, because it's not only to prevent fraud or to prevent the losses, it's also to gain more businesses. 

Tim Butara: What about the challenges of this increase of digitalization? Are there any main ones? And how do they compare to the benefits we kind of talked about already? 

Jaime Ramírez: Well, the challenges is that there is still resistance in some areas, in some countries, actually, they start fighting how to do it, if it's on premise or cloud base, to do the digitalization. But obviously, if you want to introduce digitalization, it's because you want to open your business, to do business remotely, even locally or internationally, then you need to have everything on the cloud. Everything digital. Right. Another challenge is in some areas there is a lot of people without identification, proper identification or government identification. That is a challenge. 

Tim Butara: So this digitalization really had a huge impact on the field. We probably wouldn't be right now talking about it on the podcast if it weren't for this increase in digitalization and this, as you said previously, companies embracing the digital ways of doing this more and more, and also because the customers are demanding it. 

Jaime Ramírez: Exactly. Yes. It goes both ways. The demand is to use more digitalization to increment the number of people to start doing business remotely. But at the same time, it also opens the door for other things like fraud, crime. So it's in both ways. 

Tim Butara: And from, based on your experience, what is the most frequent method of financial crime? Can you tell us a little bit more about that? 

Jaime Ramírez: Well, right now, because of this, because of this astronomical, I will say, increase in digital businesses is the identity theft. It is one of the most challenging in crime risk that all of the business are facing, the identity theft. And then after the number of transactions, fraud, transactions. Yeah. 

Tim Butara: You already mentioned that there's an astronomical rise in cybercrime. So that means not only in the number of cyber attacks, but also in their ingenuity, in their originality. How has this rise in cybercrime because of Covid been affecting Preventor and the field that you're working in? 

Jaime Ramírez: Well, Preventor, actually, we are receiving a lot of request requirements in terms of new use cases in different industries. We need to address other different scenarios for different businesses and territories. Right. So there are some simple scenarios just to do the authentication of one person, but there is others that they need to have different use cases. So for us, it's a lot of work right now. Thank God the pandemic accelerated, as I mentioned before, accelerated this, but also it's increasing the number of businesses that we have. 

Tim Butara: Do you have any new solutions, or are you developing any new solutions? New strategies now, because of all this, in reaction to all this? 

Jaime Ramírez: Yes. For the beginning of next year, we want to finish the automation of the entities onboarding, not only the individuals, but to complete the onboarding for businesses to include digital signature. In other words, the necessity to go into the bank branch, it will be minimum. Banks or financial institutions will be able to do the complete onboarding and account handling and everything remotely. 

Tim Butara: Yeah. This transition to remote and the mindset shift to kind of now everyone expecting to be able to access things and services remotely has also definitely played a big part in everything, right? 

Jaime Ramírez: Yes, it is. 

Tim Butara: And maybe if I return to the topic of cybercrime and the ingenuity of cyber attacks, like one element of this that's becoming more and more popular is that attackers are exploiting the human element. So it's not so much about something technology related, but kind of fraud, as you mentioned previously, in the sense of maybe you get an email that looks like it's from a financial institution and you get sucked into that and you realize that it's a fraud too late, how is that handled? How should businesses approach this kind of cybercrime? 

Jaime Ramírez: Yeah, definitely. This is kind of the fraud that has always been around, but lately it’s increasing because like I mentioned before, now all the businesses are starting doing everything remotely. So customers are getting used to receive notifications via email or SMS, saying there is a new service or something happens in your account. You need to log in. You need to do this. You need to do that. 

The challenge on how to approach cybercrime, it's always been around. And then the tools to do the cybersecurity is also more focused on the networking. In terms to the end user, a ways to minimize this interaction with the users with the end customers is obviously one of the services that we provide is not only to do the digital onboarding, digital authentication at the time of the onboarding, but also to do the reauthentication or ongoing authentication, meaning that users can be able to access services via face recognition and not anymore via links or via OTP, one time passwords, things like that. 

Tim Butara: So you think that we're already starting to see and we'll continue to be seeing more and more of biometric identification? 

Jaime Ramírez: Definitely. I think that's what is coming through. In the coming years, this will be implemented in more and more businesses. So it will be a time that if you don't have a digital identity, you would be very restricted in services that you're going to get. 

Tim Butara: That's a very interesting prediction. And it's one that I think that we can definitely make considering the acceleration of digitalization, the rise in our usage of digital for any kind of service, basically, that we already kind of talked about. Maybe before we wrap things up, do you maybe have any top tips for how people should approach financial crime risk management and how they should keep themselves and their employees secure? 

Jaime Ramírez: Well, the only advice that people or business owners is that this is not only a tool or a solution that you need to prevent losses on your business, but it's also a way to gain more customers to open your doors for more businesses or services locally and internationally. 

Tim Butara: Yeah, that's a great point. Well, Jaime, that's all from me. Maybe before we wrap up the call, if anyone from the audience wants to reach out to you to learn more about you, learn more about Preventor, where can they do that? 

Jaime Ramírez: Yeah, sure we have our website is preventor.com. There is a few links. There is resources that you can learn more about Preventor. There are webinars, podcasts articles. It's quite documentation that we see. 

Tim Butara: Sounds like great resource. And I'm hoping that if anybody who's listening right now is interested in learning about this further, that you go and check out Preventor’s website. Well, thank you so much for joining us today, Jaime. It's been a pleasure speaking with you today.

Jaime Ramírez: Yeah, Tim, no, it's a pleasure for me. And then anytime you want me to come back to your podcast, I'm here. 

Tim Butara: Okay. We have a deal. And to our listeners, that's all for this episode, have a great day, everyone and stay safe. 

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