The FinCEN Innovation Initiative is a new initiative designed to foster a better understanding of the opportunities and challenges of Bank Secrecy Act and Anti-Money Laundering (BSA/AML)-related innovation in the financial services sector. FinCEN recognizes that private sector innovation, either by new ways of using existing tools or by adopting new financial (FinTech), regulatory (RegTech) or other technologies, has the potential to enhance how consumers and businesses transfer money, make transactions, and conduct other types of financial services. These same technologies also have the potential to enhance financial institutions’ BSA/AML compliance programs, including aspects involving risk identification, transaction monitoring, and suspicious activity reporting. When responsibly employed, these enhancements can be an important element in safeguarding the financial system against an evolving array of threats.
FinCEN’s Innovation Initiative, highlighted in the FinCEN-Federal Banking Agency Joint Statement on Innovative Efforts to Combat Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (December 3, 2018), includes the FinCEN Innovation Hours Program being announced today (May 24, 2019), support for exceptive relief pilots to facilitate innovative solutions to AML and Countering the Financing of Terrorism (CFT) compliance challenges, and ongoing efforts to provide enhanced feedback and information sharing programs.
In addition, FinCEN will consider for future implementation the feasibility of incorporating demonstration and application testing capabilities to facilitate the development of innovative solutions to AML/CFT challenges. Longer term, FinCEN will also consider the feasibility of sponsoring “Tech Sprints” to facilitate the development of innovative solutions to AML/CFT challenges.
 Tech Sprints are events hosted by government, private-sector, and/or non-profit organizations or academic institutions that bring together representatives from all those sectors to collaboratively identify potential technological or other solutions to a particular problem or issue. FinCEN is considering the feasibility of hosting such events in the future that would focus on specific AML/CFT challenges or issues.