The U.S. Bank Secrecy Act, enacted by Congress in 1970, and updated as part of the Patriot Act in the wake of 9/11, requires that your bank report suspicious activity to the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, or FinCEN.

Specifically, your bank must file a Currency Transaction Report or CTR any time a single customer deposits $10,000 or more in cash on any single day.

That’s harder than it sounds—because criminals can be tricky. You can’t, for example, simply look through your ATM deposits and tick off those that total more than $10k. That’s because someone trying to evade detection will likely know about the $10k threshold, and thus try and “stay under your radar” by splitting that cash deposit up among different individual ATMs and branches within your bank’s network.

This is why CTRs require a ton of manual labor. You—or, more specifically, your Operations & Risk Team—needs to scour through transaction logs, and add up the transactions for deposits by account number, in order to catch this type of suspicious activity.  

As you can well imagine, this is a ton of exacting, detailed, and federally required work.  

It means diving into your bank’s document-management system to search for and retrieve the appropriate reports, review the electronic deposit-ticket images, look for the aggregate totals that trigger a CTR, and creating the report itself.  

That’s a lot of hard work.  

It’s also a lot of hard work that now can be automated.  

The definition of Currency Transaction Report automation is the use of modern digitization tools like workflow applications, robotic process automation, data analytics, and AI to eliminate the reliance on human-based processes. 

Thanks to robotic process automation or RPA, you can take this chore away from your valued staffers forever! It’s easy with The Lab; we’re North America’s banking-automation authority.  

In this article, we’d like to walk you through the steps that an actual banking bot takes as it handles this required activity. It’s based on a bot we installed at a prominent bank recently; we’ve even made a fascinating two-minute video of it, which you can view right here:

The first step in this process is for the bot to get into the bank’s document-management system. For that, it needs to log in.  

And to log in, it needs its own username, password, and permissions. Don’t worry: It has them all. RPA bots from The Lab act just like people and are assigned their own credentials accordingly. If a person can sit at a computer and do it—navigate systems, click through fields, type, copy, and paste—then the bot can do it, too.  

Note that banking bots from The Lab can easily work with any document-management system your bank uses! This includes:  

  • FIS Image Centre  
  • Finastra Fusion LaserPro 
  • Jack Henry Synergy 
  • Fiserv Nautilus 
  • Others 

The bot in the video is using FIS Image Centre. Once inside, it navigates to the “COLD Research” portion. From there, it types in the search criteria it needs, into the appropriate fields, and gets the exact cash-transaction report it seeks.

As soon as the document-management system serves up the report, the bot downloads it and saves it to the bank’s shared drive. Note that this step alone is impressive, because 1) the bot knows exactly which folder to save the report to, 2) types in the exact right filename for the report, and 3) never makes a typo!

Now the bot can do its real work. It uses the appropriate transaction code to locate every single suspicious cash transaction that could be part of an aggregate total of $10,000. The bot then matches these transactions by account number to create the input needed to create a Currency Transaction Report.

After each transaction is reviewed, the bot emails all the appropriate account numbers, names, and amounts directly to the Risk Team Specialist.

Last but not least, the bot creates a summarized report, in Excel, for the Operations and Risk Team to review. It’s a detailed report, with separate tabs for totals, raw data, ATM images, and more. The bot even embeds the actual PDF of the Suspicious Cash Transactions Report directly into the Excel sheet—a nice touch.  

At a typical bank, this activity consumes 20 minutes of “touch time” per item. That’s 80 hours of work every year. With the bot, it’s 100-percent automated.  

This improves process resiliency. It ensures risk compliance. It eliminates manual work. And it frees up employees to feel more accomplished at work with less repetitive tasks.  

Regardless of your systems—core, document-management system, and ancillary apps—The Lab can configure and install a bot like this at your bank in just weeks. It pays for itself in short order.  

The best way to appreciate the speed and game-changing power of banking bots is to see it for yourself. We invite you to schedule your free, no-obligation 30-minute screen-sharing demo with The Lab. You’ll see real RPA bots in action. You’ll learn how we do all this from our U.S. offices in Houston, with nothing outsourced or offshored, and get all your questions answered by our friendly experts. Hedge your bank against employee turnover. Eliminate errors and resulting losses. Simply call (201) 526-1200 or email info@thelabconsulting.com to book your demo today! 

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