Virtusa Corporation and WorkFusion announced the launch of an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered sanction screening solution that will help banks reduce operational effort and manage false positives. A bank’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) program plays a critical role in supporting government sanctions lists for preventing payments to designated countries, corporate entities, or individuals.
There are multiple government lists and they evolve daily as the number of transactions continues to rapidly rise. Banks are required to continuously retune their sanctions monitoring software to keep pace with these changes. However, the number of permutations that exist to account for misspellings, pseudonyms, abbreviations, and phonetic similarities creates trillions of possibilities that outstrip the abilities of traditional rules-based software to handle, resulting in many payments being stopped as a false positive until researched and cleared by the banks operations team.
The result creates operational inefficiencies and delays in valid payments, resulting in customer dissatisfaction. At the same time, weak screening processes can result in creating situations of non-compliance and potential fines as banks have paid over $10 billion in non-compliance fines in the last three years alone.
“The manual effort to research and resolve false positives is a significant operations cost for most banks today, but the cost of non-compliance is even greater given steep monetary fines,” said Bob Graham, global solutions head, Banking and Financial Services, Virtusa.
“The power of machine learning combined with Robotic Process Automation (RPA) offers a great opportunity to apply technology to this cognitive operational process and drive increased automation. Our solution brings the intelligence needed to reduce resolution time for false positives, which allows financial institutions to lower their compliance costs and reduce mistakes that can damage their security and reputations,” he added.
Virtusa has combined its expertise in payments and regulatory compliance, its Lab sandbox, and the machine learning and robotics in WorkFusion’s Intelligent Automation platform to deliver a smart application that reduces the manual effort required to resolve false positives, said company.
The Virtusa solution works on top of a bank’s sanction screening application stack and comes preloaded with process templates for payment message analysis, pre-built exception handling components, and a data model that leverages historical data to jumpstart the training process. The solution is self-learning and routes low confidence cases to human operators, learns from their work patterns, and, over time, helps improve effectiveness by shifting more cases to automation.
“Sanctions screening is a very expensive example of why the pressure on businesses to increase efficiency and mitigate risk is so high,” said Alex Lyashok, president, WorkFusion. “Virtusa has been helping businesses around the world transform and digitize with our RPA and cognitive automation products, and now our co-developed sanctions screening app, powered by WorkFusion Smart Process Automation, delivers that value in a turn-key solution. We are excited about how Virtusa is using our products to create solutions for customers, and we will continue to invest in the relationship to deliver bigger, faster, and simpler business value.”
As a strategic partner of WorkFusion, Virtusa supports deployments globally through its Intelligent Automation Center of Excellence by providing domain-specific WorkFusion accelerators that reduce time to market and deliver greater business value to clients.