Homeland Security Implications
The technology also has homeland security implications because its able to analyze telephone and Internet usage records, though McCue was reluctant to talk about specific ways the department is using it in those areas. Homeland security is also on the mind of Wachovia Corp. The banking and financial services company has to comply with terms of the USA Patriot Act that require it to have a better handle on possible money laundering and terrorist financial activities. By next year, Wachovia, of Charlotte, N.C., plans to deploy SAS Anti Money Laundering solution to find patterns in transactions that could indicate suspect activity.Wachovia will use the technology from SAS, of Cary, N.C., to look for patterns of activity that would indicate money laundering as well as unusual customer behavior that wouldnt fit a customer profile, such as a small business conducting unusually large transactions.
Wachovia also needs more powerful analytics that could tie multiple transactions from multiple customers together to discern patterns.
"If you look at the 9/11 terrorists, a lot of the transactions they had processed seemed very innocuous on their own," Langley said. "But if you can link behaviors together and see a group of people making transactions at ATMs in three or four different states over a few weeks, maybe its something, [or] maybe theyre just on vacation.
"The Patriot Act is very broadly written," said Bill Langley, executive vice president and chief compliance officer at Wachovia. "What it says to me is that if we purchase a system to assess compliance, we have to purchase one thats flexible and advanced and go with a vendor thats going to be in business for a while."