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5 things to look for in a transaction screening system

August 26, 2021

Whether you’re looking to upgrade an existing transaction screening system or bring in an entirely new one – it's not always easy to know what really matters. For this blog, Napier dives into the top 5 things to look for in a transaction screening system, and why each is so important to the screening process.  

1. Sandbox testing environment for screening

A sandbox is a safe, private testing environment that’s separate from the live environment. It allows you to run changes and experiments with a view to improving system performance, but without interrupting the live system.

Napier’s sandbox empowers you to fine-tune screening configurations based on results from actual data, to understand the impact of changes before committing to the live environment.  

For example, if you noticed a change in the pattern in false positive alerts, you could create a rule and test it in the sandbox to offer a direct comparison with the current configuration.

As well as ‘what if’ testing, the sandbox allows you to run effectiveness testing in seconds rather than weeks. Regular effectiveness testing is recommended to evaluate the performance of your system under stress.

Ultimately, the sandbox gives the power and flexibility back to system users with full pre-deployment testing in a mimicked live environment and with no dependency on external companies to make changes.

2. Flexibility in screening  

A flexible transaction screening system is essential for effective screening. It should be flexible enough to adapt to your risk policy, rather than requiring your risk policy to be adapted to the screening system.

Changes to screening lists happen regularly so your transaction screening system must equip you to respond. The systems should offer you the flexibility to define, test, validate and monitor the effectiveness of rule settings independently and as often as necessary.

It’s crucial to have the flexibility to apply your risk policy to screening for payments, and transactions and any other movement of funds.  

In Napier’s Transaction Screening, the ability to screen transactions in different ways, depending on the message style, risk policy, field-level rules and many other factors, offers this flexibility.

Further flexibility is offered through being able to define rules at the field level (instead of just the message level). This capability is key for reducing false negatives, as is the ability to write rules against incoming and outgoing messages.

3. Strong partnerships with quality data providers

When it comes to transaction screening, data compatibility has a significant impact on the performance of the software, so never overlook the importance of the relationship between the screening vendor and data provider. Where technology providers have partnerships with trusted data providers, it gives the solution an edge.  

Transaction screening software works most efficiently and effectively when the system is purpose-built by technology providers who understand how best to integrate data from a variety of established, trusted suppliers.

Similarly, as the consumer of the data, you need to understand its categorisation from the data vendor so you can select the right data for your needs. To achieve this intricate level of understanding, there must be evidence of strong partnerships between the system vendor, data provider and buyer, as well as trust that the data provided is of world-class and will enable better screening results.

Of equal importance is the quality of the data. Even the best transaction screening system benefiting from a strong data partnership will not work effectively if it does not have access to good quality data.  

The focus, therefore, should be on selecting a vendor compatible with a core range of market leading data providers to get the best possible results. Be cautious of claims of compatibility with any data provider.

4. A balance between fast and effective

Everyone wants a fast transaction screening system – after all, the demand for fast, friction-less payments is high – but the effectiveness of the system is of utmost importance too.  

It is important, therefore, to look for software that is scalable, like Napier’s screening system, that can maintain performance regardless of the number of screening rules in place or complexity of the risk policy. This will help ensure the system is able to work fast and effectively.  

5. Decision making support

Informed decision-making is crucial to discount false positives and escalate true risks in the fight against financial crime. In an ideal transaction screening system, decision-making must be both accurate and rapid. Technology can help achieve both objectives by doing the heavy lifting of data analysis to allow you to focus efforts on making the right decision.

To help process screening hits faster while reducing the burden of false positives, Napier’s transaction screening system features its unique AI Advisor.  

AI Advisor is an AI-powered tool available in Napier’s screening platform that helps analysts make efficient, informed decisions on which alerts to discount, by assigning risk scores based on a company’s particular risk appetite.

Once trained to recognise what a good match looks like for a particular risk appetite, AI Advisor can determine whether an alert requires further review by a human analyst or can be discounted as a false positive. This in turn can increase analyst efficiency and effectiveness by focusing their efforts on what AI Advisor identifies as a good match.

AI Advisor can also reduce false positives in screening by up to 40% by analysing multiple additional variables on top of the rules criteria.

Request a demo

Napier is here to make the world a safer place through intelligent compliance. Our technology can completely transform your compliance processes, moving you from a tick box exercise to a competitive edge.

Request a demo of our transaction screening system today from one of our experts.