Transaction Screening: How Will You Overcome Challenges?

History has taught us many things, but one undeniable lesson remains afresh no matter what- financial crime and fraud: how fraudsters and money launderers are constantly evolving their tactics. According to the United Nations, approximately $1.5 trillion is funneled annually through banks worldwide for terrorist activities and criminal organizations. This staggering figure highlights the significant role of transaction screening.

Transaction Screening: How Will You Overcome Challenges?

Content of this blog:



Fundamental elements

Transaction Screening overview

Transaction Screening overview

Every year, the volume of sanctions alerts doubles, pushing banks to improve their screening efficiency, reduce compliance costs and alleviate friction. Financial institutions have to “maintain an effective and efficient sanctions screening process against rapidly growing lists of sanctioned individuals and organizations.
As banks transition to ISO20022 messages standards, they must also screen the new richer message standards to support the transition to instant and frictionless payments. Failure to have an effective screening process in place can result in significant fines for sanctions violations and reputational damage.

Challenges to implementing a transaction screening system

Challenges to implementing a transaction screening system

Sanctions screening plays a vital role in the entire customer’s lifecycle, from onboarding to periodic reviews to screening financial transactions such as domestic and cross-border payments. However, existing screening solutions are more siloed, inefficient and produce high volumes of false positives resulting in numerous challenges to implementing transaction screening systems. Below shared are some of the challenges:

Evolving Sanctions Landscape:

With the proliferation of technology and digitization coupled with frequent modifications in (global data sources (sanctions, watchlists, PEPs, etc.) due to changes in geography, jurisdiction, and political landscape), there is an upward trajectory in compliance costs, combating criminal enterprises, and financing terrorist activities.

Operational Challenges:

Unification of data sources and lists, poor data management, siloed systems, manual data processes, and regional naming conventions lead to operational challenges of transaction screening.

Systems Unconfigurable:

Incorrect system configuration might lead to excessive false positives and missing suspicious transactions resulting in significant fines for sanctions violations and reputational damage.

Evolving Money Laundering Techniques:

Criminals frequently modify their methodologies to avoid being caught for financial crimes. Banks must stay tuned with the new strategies for transaction screening systems to identify and stop illegal activity successfully.

Quality Data and Integration: 

For transaction screening, it is vital to screen the correctness and accuracy of the data as they come from various external and internal sources. One mistake could lead to high false positive rates causing higher expenses, labour-intensive manual checks, and possibly longer processing times for legitimate transactions.

In an era where compliance is non-negotiable, IMS Compliance boasts an extensive audit trail, assuring complete transparency and accountability in every screening process. This fully managed solution screens all incoming and outgoing messages against up-to-date sanctions lists and instantly alerts if any suspicious is detected. Our solution also addresses the OFAC list to fight against money laundering and other fraudulent activities. There is a provision where companies can maintain a proprietary list of the customers or groups they want to block with fraudulent activities.

Fundamental elements that ensure effective transaction screening

ECS’ transaction screening module offers you more flexibility to harness ISO 20022’s additional data fields to improve filter efficiency and effectiveness. An effective transaction screening program relies on several pivotal elements, ensuring it:


Initiates prior to approving any transaction, ensuring proactive risk assessment.


Identifies sanctioned entities, locations, and activities to prevent potential compliance breaches.


Utilizes up-to-date sanctions lists, promptly refreshed to align with regulatory updates.


Integrates seamlessly into a firm's comprehensive risk data system, fostering a holistic approach to risk management.


Equips analysts with clear and comprehensive risk insights, enabling efficient and effective remediation efforts.


Embraces a broad spectrum of risk insights, combining both internal and third-party data sources for comprehensive risk coverage.

Embrace our transformative tool and embark on a journey of enhanced compliance with the assurance that your organization is protected in a globally evolving landscape of potential threats.

Contact us now!