Article 4 min

Automating Global Watchlist Search, Screening and Monitoring

September 15, 2022  

Regulated organizations must search and screen global watchlists for named corrupt, criminal, and sanctioned people and entities. Having robust and effective processes to uncover accounts that are trying to launder money, evade sanctions and obfuscate money trails is critical to ensure compliance and protect your organization’s integrity.

As part of a major product update, Trulioo now offers enhanced Watchlist Screening. The update includes the launch of UtilityID and upgraded Business Verification. Together, these services streamline the onboarding of consumers and businesses and provide continuous monitoring for fraud, money laundering and illicit behavior throughout the customer lifecycle.

Global watchlist

Organizations that must comply with Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations need to perform a detailed politically exposed person (PEP) and sanction check when onboarding new customers and on an ongoing basis.

FATF Recommendation 12 defines a PEP as an individual who has been entrusted with prominent public functions either domestically or abroad, such as, for example, a head of state or senior politician. The PEP list also includes close business associates and family members. As these individuals have influence, or potential influence, over government contracts and oversight functions, their ability to enable corrupt activities requires special attention.

Sanctions lists, often referred to as Anti-Money Laundering (AML) watchlists, are a compilation of multiple regulatory and Enhanced Due Diligence (EDD) lists from all major sanctioning bodies worldwide, including global and in-country lists.

A thorough global watchlist search and screening program includes checks on sanction and PEP listsThese watch lists are continually updated with new names. So, both the sanctions and PEP screening should be done in real-time to adhere to KYC requirements and to create a seamless customer onboarding process.

Adverse media screening

While the various watchlists are constantly being updated, names not on a watchlist can still be problematic. Perhaps the person or entity is involved in recent activities, and there hasn’t been enough time to add them to a watchlist. Or, maybe some activities pose a reputational risk but don’t rise to the level of being on a watchlist.

Awareness of potential reputational issues with your accounts is a proactive step to understanding your organization’s risk. Adverse media screening (or negative news screening) monitors media and web channels for mentions of specific people or entities you want to track.

In situations requiring EDD, adverse media screening might be advisable or even required. As far back as 2014, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) suggests EDD steps can include “carrying out additional searches (e.g., verifiable adverse media searches) to inform the individual customer risk assessment.”

In The Wolfsberg Group FAQ about negative news screening, they point out that these procedures can help:

  • Reveal involvement in crimes
  • Inform the risk assessment
  • Provide support for further investigation
  • Identify additional risks and controversies

The Panama, Paradise and Pandora Papers demonstrated media information that impacts compliance programs. Adverse media screening helps strengthen the risk-based approach, providing more information to make accurate risk assessments, and is vital for proper due diligence and KYC.

Watchlist Screening

Watchlist Screening is an ongoing monitoring service, performing KYC, Sanctions and AML checks that ensure customers’ user bases are at the lowest risk of sanction list presence, fraud, money laundering, corruption, financial crimes and terrorism.

One of the most complete watchlist services on the market, Watchlist Screening is the AML compliance solution of choice for the world’s largest global marketplaces, financial institutions and trading platforms. Fully integrated into the Trulioo platform, Watchlist Screening connects to customers’ eIDV onboarding journeys via a single API to provide screening and monitoring of their users against 6,000+ global watchlists and 20,000+ Adverse Media lists – both at the point of onboarding and continuously thereafter.

Some examples of the watchlists Trulioo screens against include:

  • OFAC
  • N. Terrorism list
  • EU Sanction Lists
  • Her Majesty’s Treasury
  • gov
  • Ministry of Defense
  • The Dept. of Foreign Affairs & Trade
  • OCC

And thousands more.

Screen customers against global watchlists, reduce risk and comply with AML/KYC regulations with Watchlist Screening.

Read the solution sheet

Detect and Prevent Money Launderers During Onboarding

Discover how your business can help ensure compliance, reduce operational costs and streamline global operations.