Google Cloud wants to use AI to stop money laundering for good

Close-up Hands counting money American dollars
(Image credit: NATNN / Shutterstock)

Artificial Intelligence has been occupying the headlines for months with new tools emerging every day to help workers make better use of their time, but Google Cloud now thinks AI is the answer to put an end to money laundering.

With the launch of its new Anti Money Laundering AI (AML AI) offerning, the company wants to help financial institutions across the globe to detect money laundering more efficiently, a problem that costs banks $2 trillion each year, or around 2-5% of the global GDP.

According to the company’s case study with HSBC, which adopted the new technology early across its key markets, AML AI identified 2-4x more suspicious activity while simultaneously reducing alert volumes by over 60%.

AI is being used to detect money laundering

Google Cloud says that most legacy AML tools have failed to keep up with the times, being that they are reliant on manually defined rules. Failure rates are high, with as many as 95% of system-generated alerts turning out to be false positives. Integrating artificial intelligence is hoped to bring the system more up-to-date as criminals get better with what they do.

Company CEO Thomas Kurian expressed the division’s excitement to making its “tools, technologies, and expertise available to solve one of the biggest and most costly challenges in the financial services industry.”

HSBC’s group head of financial crime risk and compliance, Jennifer Calvery, said: “Google Cloud’s AML AI has significantly improved HSBC’s AML detection capability. Google’s models are already demonstrating the tremendous potential of machine learning to transform anti-financial crime efforts in the industry at large,” citing improved precision, reduced processing time, and the ability to keep up with more sophisticated cases of laundering.

Alongside increased risk detection, the use of AI promises to help banks reduce their operational costs by improving efficiency and reducing the number of false positives generated. 

AML AI also promises to be more easily adaptable to different governance and defensibility requirements, with the ability to appease different geographical regulatory requirements.

Finally, the cloud hosting company believes that customer experience in general could see a significant uptick, with fewer individuals having to be subjected to detailed checks.

Craig Hale

With several years’ experience freelancing in tech and automotive circles, Craig’s specific interests lie in technology that is designed to better our lives, including AI and ML, productivity aids, and smart fitness. He is also passionate about cars and the decarbonisation of personal transportation. As an avid bargain-hunter, you can be sure that any deal Craig finds is top value!