FinTech AML Compliance: How the Costs Stack Up

Global compliance costs (the amount organizations spend worldwide) are astronomical. According to research, financial crime compliance spending was approximately $274 billion in 2022, up from $213.9 billion in 2020. And outlays in 2023 are set to rise again.

But what do these figures mean? 

These staggering numbers highlight the profound financial commitment industries, including the FinTech sector, allocate to AML compliance.

And let's look at how the AML budget line items stack up for FinTechs:

  • Third-Party Technology Costs
  • Customer Due Diligence (CDD) and Monitoring
  • Enhanced Due Diligence (EDD)
  • Employee Costs and Training
  • Regulatory Compliance Research
  • AML and Legal Consultation Fees
  • Reporting and Documentation

The list above is daunting for FinTech startups already feeling the pinch (the FinTech funding slump is a growing issue in 2023). But it gets worse because being lax with compliance can land regulated companies like FinTechs with multi-million dollar penalties and fines.

Recommended reading: Startups Must Pay Attention to Sanctions Violations Too (Plus Insights from 2023 Fines)

Two Key Ways FinTechs Can Reduce AML Compliance Costs

Now that we understand how AML compliance costs are broadly broken down, and the deep pockets required, the following section reveals how budget-savvy FinTechs can reduce costs while staying compliant.

1. Third-Party RegTech: Only Pay for What You Need

Here is something that all FinTechs need to know: Most regulation technology (RegTech) services marketing to regulated financial companies offer features that global banks with thousands of employees may need.

But your FinTech doesn't. 

And it's easy to imagine how a fresh FinTech (with limited AML compliance experience) could be led down a sales path that's more favorable to a RegTech vendor accustomed to bulging corporate budgets. 

So firstly, remember this: Only pay for the features your business requires.

Secondly, let's talk about volume. Most RegTech services work by API calls (for example, to global sanctions and PEP databases) and charge accordingly. 

But just like a local coffee shop doesn't require a corporate cell phone plan, a bootstrapped FinTech doesn't need an enterprise AML solution.  

To illustrate this concept, let's look at sanctions screening, one of AML's most crucial processes. While large financial service companies require elaborate sanctions screening solutions that can handle vast transaction volumes, your FinTech's operations likely involve far less.

And like with almost all SaaS services - it's easy to be over-sold by sales professionals with sizeable commission-based bonuses motivating them. 

The key takeaway is this: Seek RegTech providers that are clear and transparent with their services, and avoid one-size-fits-all solutions.

Remember: Less can be more.

At, transparency is a key mantra, which we'll expand upon in the next section.

2. Select RegTech Providers With Transparent Pricing

The next way shrewd FinTechs can reduce the cost of AML compliance is by selecting third-party solutions with transparent pricing

This is a pricing model that fully embraces. 

Why? Because it does two crucial things. First, clients can easily select the most cost-effective option for their circumstances. And secondly, transparency is a principle that nurtures enduring and trustworthy business relationships.

Examples of transparent pricing, all of which apply to, include:

  • Clear pricing tables that are tiered
  • Comparative pricing tables (comparing features)
  • Free trial periods (try before you buy)
  • No hidden fees
  • Clear renewal terms

While some RegTech services may not publicly display transparent pricing models, often featuring a "Request Info" button instead, this approach can also be valid.

However, FinTechs should always compare quotes for types of services and volume (essentially, building a pricing comparison table yourself) before making any final decision.

And yes, this advice may seem obvious. But don't forget this:

A trap FinTechs may fall into is believing there is a one-size-fits-all compliance solution for all regulated financial service companies. But this is far from the truth.

The reality is that the cost of compliance massively varies, depending on the requirements of the financial service. The best way to approach RegTech pricing is perhaps like tax - as a percentage of total income. For example, according to a study by consultants Duff & Phelps, banks spend around 5-15% of their revenue on compliance.

FinTech startups without the high costs associated with phasing out manual AML systems should spend a lower percentage on compliance costs than large financial institutions. 

And the bottom line to this section is this: Given how RegTech solutions significantly vary in price, it's essential to seek transparent pricing models so your FinTech can make well-informed decisions that align with its budget and compliance needs.

Recommended reading from the blog: FinTech Money Laundering Risks You Need to Know (and How to Combat It)

Further Budget-Savvy Tips for Cost-Effective AML Compliance

We've already discussed how only paying for services your FinTech needs and seeking transparent pricing models (before signing on the dotted line) will significantly contribute to AML compliance cost savings. is proud to provide transparent pricing, emphasizing simplicity and essentials - ideal for FinTechs on a budget. 

You can view's transparent and cost-effective pricing table here.

But let's remember there are other ways to reduce further the cost of AML compliance for FinTechs. Here are some more tips that you should also embrace:

How Can Help Your FinTech with AML Compliance is a highly reliable, cost-effective solution for sanctions, PEP, and criminal watchlist screening. To learn more about how our sanctions, PEP, and criminal watchlist screening service works and to receive answers to all your queries regarding the API, integrations, and more. Book a free Discovery Call now. 

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