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16 Oct 2023
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Understanding Financial Crime Threat in Digital Financial Services (2023)

4 Weeks
Programme Area
Public Finance and Trade
Event Focal Point Email
Public – by registration
Mode of Delivery
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The rapid development and use of new payment products and services, including pre-paid and store-value cards or e-cash, mobile payments, internet based payments and virtual currencies, has changed the dynamics of the 21st century financial market and services. These are powerful tools to enhancing financial inclusion, but at the same time they have the potential of being abused by criminals to commit fraud, money laundering (ML), terrorist financing (TF), tax evasion and other criminal purposes. The development of these new digital methods and services have increased the complexity for policy makers, regulators, law enforcement authorities, and financial institutions in assessing financial crime risks, especially ML/TF risks, attached to these instruments and the application of proper measures to mitigate and effectively manage these risks, particularly in case of cross-border transactions. 

This course aims to enhance participants knowledge and understanding of financial crime risks associated with digital financial services, including risks associated with virtual assets. It will enable the participants to analyse how different types of financial crime can occur using various new payment methods and how firms can effectively mitigate and detect financial crime risks associated with them. The course also briefly analyses the financial crime risks and challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic for digital financial services. Finally, it will discuss some good practices and provide illustrative case examples of implementing effective controls and measures in this area to prevent the abuse of new digital financial products and services, including virtual assets, by criminals.

At the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Identify financial crime risks associated with digital financial services, including virtual assets
  • Understand why digital financial services and virtual assets are attractive to criminals.
  • Develop an understanding, based on illustrative examples and real case studies, how different types of financial crime can occur using digital financial services and virtual assets.
  • Identify and understand the mechanism to effectively detect and prevent the abuse of these instrument by criminals.
  • Develop knowledge and understanding to develop and implement an effective financial crime risk management strategy and programme to prevent the abuse of digital financial services, including a discussion on best practices and lesson learnt from various jurisdictions.

This course consists of the following modules:

  • Module I: An Introduction – Digital Financial Services and associated Financial Crime Risks. 
  • Module II: Preventing the abuse of new payment methods and virtual assets: Current legal and regulatory approaches and challenges.
  • Module III: Latest trends and typologies in financial crime in digital financial services, including virtual assets.
  • Module IV: Best Practices and Solutions – Developing an Effective Financial Crime Risk Management Approach and Strategy.

In order to ensure the best possible outreach, the course will be delivered through e-learning. Through a multiple-instructional setting, the goal is to achieve the learning objectives by means of learning technologies that match personal learning styles and by the inclusion of non-linear learning that aims at the development of just-in-time skills of adult learners. At the same time, in order to allow participants maximum flexibility of scheduling, the learning will be conducted in an asynchronous manner. 

Using a state-of-the-art training architecture, UNITAR will combine self-learning with assessments and online discussions. The pedagogy - adapted specifically to professionals in full-time work - will help train participants through various experiences: absorb (read); do (activity); interact (socialize); reflect (relate to one’s own reality).

This course is an intermediate level course for which the target audience is relevant staff of banking sector and other financial institutions, staff of law enforcement agencies, financial intelligence units, fraud and compliance managers, risk management professionals, fintech firms, policy makers, regulators, consultants and senior practitioners.

A certificate of completion will be issued by UNITAR to all participants who complete the course-related assignments and assessments successfully. Course schedule is subject to change. Course fee is non-refundable but transferrable to another course or participant and subject to change as per UNITAR's policy on pricing.

Recommended hardware and software requirements for taking our e-learning courses:

  • Platform: Windows XP sp3, Vista sp2, Windows 7 sp1, MacOS X.
  • Hardware: 2 GB of RAM and higher for Vista and Windows 7.
  • Software: Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Powerpoint and Adobe Acrobat Reader (downloadable for free at
  • Browser: Internet Explorer 8 or higher; Mozilla Firefox 8 or higher.
  • Internet connection: 128kbps and higher.
  • Note: JavaScript, pop-ups & cookies must be enabled.