Trade finance technology firm TradeSun has launched a real-time compliance product to help banks better detect and intercept illicit activities.

The new solution on TradeSun’s platform enables instant due diligence checks, covering various areas including sanctions screening, trade-based money laundering, dual-use goods and fair price checks.

The product is intended to replace the existing compliance module launched on TradeSun’s platform in early 2021, which worked in a similar fashion but does not allow for real-time analysis of transaction data.

The upgraded offering will also raise alerts for transactions involving high-risk industries, goods and jurisdictions, and draws on data from various providers including MarineTraffic, IHS Markit, Lloyd’s List Intelligence and Accuity.

“Real-time compliance provides a first-of-its-kind comprehensive suite for compliance screening. The innovative technology vastly improves efficiency and organisational controls for banks, automating manual and onerous tasks, and significantly reducing risk,” says Manoj Saxena, chief product officer at TradeSun.

“By running compliance checks upfront and getting the data real time, it’s a really good opportunity to reduce false positives and needless alerts, which typically take up a lot of time as they get escalated,” TradeSun’s CEO Nigel Hook tells GTR.

Banks upload documents to the TradeSun platform either manually, or through an application programming interface (API), with an artificial intelligence-powered solution using a combination of optical character recognition and natural language processing technology to read and extract data from a wide variety, type and quality of complex trade documents.

Financial institutions are then able to run real-time compliance checks, or can use a separate product to verify whether their document meets international rules such as the International Chamber of Commerce’s Uniform Customs and Practice for Documentary Credits (UCP600).

Hook says some banks may have invested in a separate digital solution for extracting data from trade documents, and in such instances, TradeSun’s platform can extract and input such data via APIs.

While the original TradeSun compliance product will remain available for users to run basic checks, such as for vessel tracking or OFAC compliance, he says the aim is to ultimately phase this out.

“The crown jewel in the compliance offering is the price check, which has been traditionally hard to automate. There are so many variations around seasonality, jurisdictions of goods, the types of goods,” Hook says.

“Our solution is able to break pricing down to a much finer grade than with typical HS codes – typically with these, it is difficult to know if a commodity is priced correctly, particularly for high-risk goods.”

TradeSun first entered the trade finance space in 2018, piloting an AI-based solution to digitise and automate the processing of trade documents with a group of nine banks the following year. 

The number of users of the platform is now in the double-digits and includes JP Morgan, which supported the development and launch of the new product, GTR understands.