Stearns Bank, Sardine Streamline Fintech Compliance with Operating System for Risk Management

Stearns Bank N.A. has partnered with Sardine, a provider of risk management and compliance solutions, to enhance Stearns Bank’s fintech program.

This collaboration marks a “first-of-its-kind” approach in community banking “to provide an all-in-one risk management and compliance platform for sponsored programs to address evolving regulatory and compliance requirements.”

As the demand for faster money movement increases, “the risk of fraud increases.”

Stearns Bank and Sardine recognize “the need for enhanced compliance and multi-layered fraud detection and prevention tools to safeguard faster payment offerings.”

Sardine’s all-in-one risk management and compliance platform “helps sponsor banks manage fintech oversight risks without needing multiple service providers.”

Sardine utilizes innovative technology “to consolidate critical compliance data and integrated risk scoring and offers banks a way to tackle modern fraud with real-time fraud detection, KYC, KYB, BSA/AML, and transaction monitoring in one solution.”

Josh Hofer, Chief Risk & Information Security Officer of Stearns Bank, said:

“Sardine breaks down data silos and enables our teams to efficiently identify issues for remediation and quickly pull together and share relevant data for further audit, examination, and regulatory purposes as needed. This allows us to keep up with fintech innovation and scale our fintech offerings while enhancing risk management and streamlining compliance – what we’re providing with Sardine is transformative for fintechs, community banks, and fintech sponsorship.”

With Sardine in place, Stearns Bank reportedly “has real-time oversight into their KYC/AML policies, fraud, and AML transaction monitoring alerts across all their sponsored programs in one integrated dashboard.”

Stearns Bank can “work directly with their fintech partners to easily create new fraud detection, KYC policy, or transaction monitoring rules via Sardine’s no-code rule editor.”

Kelly Skalicky, President and CEO of Stearns Bank, said:

“As regulations continue to evolve and scrutiny into the fintech space intensifies, which it should, Stearns Bank continues to prioritize risk management and compliance in its fintech partnerships and sponsorship offerings. We continue to assess and select our fintech partners based on our exacting Stearns Bank ‘Risk-Management 1st’ standards, selecting compliance-focused partners like Sardine committed to an elevated and always-maturing risk management model for deploying fintech-facilitated banking services.”

Skalicky added:

“By leveraging our risk management and compliance expertise and Sardine’s advanced compliance and monitoring technology, we can provide greater access to a wider range of secure banking services and capabilities with embedded future-forward compliance and risk management systems, proactively anticipating next-gen regulatory requirements.”

As noted in the update, sponsored fintechs can easily “escalate suspicious customers or transactions to Stearns Bank via Sardine’s SOC2 Type 2 compliant platform.”

This robust case management system “enables data-sharing and dispositions without sharing critical personally-identifiable information via emails or other insecure messaging.”

Soups Ranjan, CEO of Sardine, said:

“We’re excited to work with a tech-savvy partner such as Stearns Bank to enhance their fintech offerings and showcase an innovative way to do program management of fintechs and embedded finance. Our unique platform enables enhanced monitoring of regulatory, reputation, and operational risk for sponsor banks through real-time views into aggregated fraud and compliance performance, as well as tools to manage and mitigate those risks.”

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