WASHINGTON—The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) announced today that its successful “Innovation Hours Program” marks over a year of providing valuable insight in a series of in-person meetings with industry, which have continued in virtual format since May. FinCEN announced the creation of the Innovation Hours Program in May 2019 as part of a broad initiative to promote responsible anti-money laundering/countering the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) innovation.
“FinCEN has consistently been a leader in exploring innovative ways to advance the national security of the United States and the integrity of the financial system,” noted FinCEN Director Kenneth A. Blanco. “We remain committed to seeking the best and brightest ideas from the private sector, and will continue using the virtual format to exchange innovative ideas in a very dynamic industry.”
During the first year, the Program hosted 32 companies from 14 states as well as four countries. FinCEN also hosted a special regional Innovation Hours event last November, meeting with 13 innovative firms from the greater New York City area, in partnership with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s Office of Innovation.
The Program has increased FinCEN’s understanding of new technologies and financial services-related solutions and increased interactions with the firms creating them. It also has supported FinCEN’s regulatory reform, policy development, and other enhancement efforts.
These meetings have provided FinCEN’s expert staff with critical and timely information related to several key themes including:
- Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning and Natural Language Processing
- Virtual Currency and Other Blockchain-enabled Applications
- Digital Identity
- Customer Risk Assessment and Mitigation
- Secure and Confidential Information Sharing
- Legal Entity Resolution and Beneficial Ownership
- Banking the Underbanked
- Other AML/CFT and Sanctions Compliance Solutions
The virtual meeting format ensures financial technology (FinTech) and Regulatory technology (RegTech) companies, related venture capital firms, or financial institutions can continue to present their innovative products and services to FinCEN and continue engaging on solutions designed to improve how consumers and businesses move money, conduct transactions, or ultimately enhance AML/CFT efforts to keep Americans and our financial system safe from harm.
Primary consideration for requests for Innovation Hours will be given to entities that are at the operational stage. Companies interested in meeting with FinCEN should submit a web request and provide applicable background information about their firm’s business and innovative products. Requests will be accepted on a rolling basis. FinCEN strongly encourages firms founded, owned, or managed by minority and other historically under-represented groups to apply.