CBA tops up investment in UK payments regtech

CBA GSS investment regtech

The Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) has joined several global investment partners in a US$47 million (AU$72 million) capital injection for UK-based global payments compliance company Global Screening Services (GSS), with CBA stating that it may embed the regtch’s platform.

The UK regtec’s latest funding round comes just over a year after another successful US$47 million capital raise, which featured participation from US investors AlixPartners and The Cynosure Group, Japan’s MUFG, alongside CBA. The same group also featured in this latest Series A2 funding round.

CBA said it is GSS’s first significant – and to date only – Australian investor. The bank, however, did not disclose the dollar value of its investment.

As part of its investment, CBA’s executive general manager of financial crime compliance, John Fogarty, will join the GSS’s main board.

CBA is already a member of GSS’s advisory board, which consists of more than 30 global banks. According to the bank, the board has over the last 18 months collectively agreed on a technology ‘blueprint’ and consistent standards for financial institutions to adopt and improve compliance and processing standards.

Founded in 2021 and originally incubated by AlixPartners before being spun off as a standalone company the following year, GSS’s primary offering is a transaction screening platform designed to strengthen and streamline banks’ and other financial institutions’ sanctions compliance processes for cross-border payments.

GSS boasts that its platform improves the effectiveness and efficiency of international payments and creates less friction in payment flows for bank customers.

Fogarty said CBA may look to “utilise this technology to continue to prevent sanctioned parties from accessing and moving money into or out of Australia, whilst also speeding up the millions of international payments for our customers”.

Tom Scampion, GSS’s chief executive stressed the importance of sanctions screening as “both an international security imperative and one of the major sources of friction in the global payment system”, particularly in the increasing push towards real-time payments.

He added that GSS was “excited to be working with a bank of the stature of CBA”.

GSS says the new funding “coincides with the company’s transition from the development phase to the operational phase” as it “prepares to go live with its inaugural clients”.