Money mule is not a new challenge, but today the problem is spreading more than ever for several reasons. New payment schemes like instant payment reduce the time for antifraud (or AML) checks before the cash-out, and untraceable payment schemes like cryptocurrency make harder the tracing of money flow.
Traditional banks are moving fast to digital onboarding procedures that imply new challenges to identity verification processes and security check procedures. Also, TPP can be used to open a new account, acting in the market with speedy and simplified onboarding procedures but with minimal security checks.


Money mules are people who, often without knowing it, have been recruited as money laundering intermediaries for criminal organizations.
A mule could be:

  • a fraudster
  • a person consciously colluded with a fraudster
  • a “defrauded” person by a fraudster
  • a compromised account


For Payment Service Providers, mule accounts are a problem and a risk regardless of their role in the fraud chain (originating, beneficiary, or intermediary bank).
Often the problem is limited to brand reputation issues related to evidence of poor and limited security checks during customer onboarding processes. In the worst case, the mule account is also the victim of an Account Takeover Attack. Mule activities could imply compliance issues if related to money laundering activities.


XTN Cognitive Security Platform® detects the registration of new mule accounts. It also identifies incoming fraudulent funds to mule accounts originating from other bank fraud victims (or mules). Finally, detects fund cash-out originating from mule account to other mule accounts or fraudster.