What to Watch for in Watch List Screening

It may be tempting for businesses that are required to screen against watch lists to think that all watch list screening solutions are the same because the lists themselves are defined by the government.  Contrary to this view, the solution you choose can make a difference to your operational efficiency, budget, and even compliance status.  Here are a few things to look for in evaluating watch list screening solutions.

Update Schedule

Sanctions lists are updated frequently, and changes to the list are effective immediately upon publication.  The laws prohibiting transactions with sanctioned individuals place responsibility on the company performing the transaction, and checking against a stale list is not a defense for these violations.  The solution you use should update sanctions lists at least daily to ensure that you are not performing transactions in violation of these laws.


Many organizations are required to screen against multiple watch lists, and manually checking against each list is extremely inefficient.  The solution you use should allow you to check against all applicable lists with a single search.

Alias Search and Flexible Matching

Many entries within sanctions lists include multiple aliases for sanctioned individuals.  Compliance with sanctions laws require checking against all referenced aliases.  Similarly, compliance policies vary regarding how close of a match is required before triggering additional due diligence requirements.  Watch list screening solutions must check against all aliases included within sanctions lists, and should provide a method of adjusting the degree of match required.


While the features provided by your watch list screening solution are important, they shouldn’t bust your budget.  EVS offers effective watch list screening with a solution that is cost effective for businesses of all sizes.

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