Enabling USPS to Comply With Federal Anti-money Laundering/Anti-terrorist Regulations


Background

The United States Postal Service (USPS) has played an integral part in the delivery of information and communications since 1775, when the Continental Congress named Benjamin Franklin as the first Postmaster General. Today, with operating revenues of $68.5 billion and over 700,000 employees, the USPS delivers over 200 billion pieces of mail each year as well as billions of dollars in financial transactions each day to eight million businesses and 250 million Americans. The USPS implements, and in some cases pioneers, the latest technology to improve service, increase productivity and reduce costs.

Challenge

To comply with federal anti-money laundering/anti- terrorist laws and regulations, the USPS analyzes images of cleared postal money orders to detect possible suspicious activity. Because there are no required standards for the image formats, when the Federal Reserve initiates the digital process and issues the electronic image of the money order, the USPS must be able to read the multiple formats as well as convert the files to a standard format for analysis. Each money order is made up of two images, one each for the front and back. To meet the suspicious reporting demands of the law, the conversion process must be accurate and instantaneous. A delay could jeopardize the timeliness of the federally-mandated reports.

"Due to the high number of images we handle every day, it was crucial that the software we chose could handle a wide variety of file formats and provide the essential features and functions we required. Snowbound's software addressed our immediate challenges and is built in such a way that we can write additional programs to accommodate future requirements. I was pleasantly surprised at how easy the SDK was to implement. When we moved from testing to implementation, the process was painless, our development team had no issues, and the end result was a seamless and successful integration." — Alben Gillum, Subject Matter Expert United States Postal Service

Solution

The USPS leveraged Snowbound's flagship RasterMaster document imaging toolkit and library to develop a comprehensive and robust document image conversion program that converts multiple file formats including the necessary CIF-ABIC to TIFF JPEG format. The files received are now automatically converted and loaded into the USPS anti-money laundering database where they are sorted, analyzed, and processed. In addition to the conversion program, RasterMaster was also used to create a custom Applet for viewing. The Applet enables the analysts to perform various crucial functions including rotation, zoom in and out, and inverting when analyzing the digital files for legitimacy.

Results

In addition to the high quality images and unprecedented speed, achieving compliance quickly and meeting the regulatory mandates were the most important results for the USPS. Snowbound's configurable software development toolkit empowered developers to quickly and easily create the conversion and viewing programs that met the federal mandates. This essential and streamlined process ensures that the USPS continues to comply with federal anti-money laundering/anti-terrorist laws and regulations in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

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