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Best payment screening software: Five companies compared

Payment Screening Payments Knowledge & Training

If you’ve found this guide, there’s a good chance you’re looking for a payment screening solution that:

  • Accurately detects risks and explains why alerts were generated.
  • Integrates across your compliance tech stack.
  • Provides up-to-date sanctions and politically exposed person (PEP) data.
  • Can be tuned internally without waiting on third-party assistance.

This article summarizes five top payment screening software vendors, listing their key strengths and explaining the use cases they respond best to.

Top payment screening software companies

1. ComplyAdvantage

Payment screening from ComplyAdvantage can be purchased as a standalone solution, or leveraged as part of the broader ComplyAdvantage fraud and anti-money laundering (AML) risk detection suite. It allows clients to screen all major transaction types in real-time via a RESTful API and has four key benefits:

  1. Market-leading data – We source from 140 global sanctions lists, 1200 watchlists, 244 PEP jurisdictions, and monitor regulators directly for updates. Our sanctions lists are always being updated – so teams can screen against updated lists in as little as 60 minutes.
  2. Intuitive interface – Data, screening engine, and case management are all integrated in one easy-to-use platform.
  3. Support for all major payment types, including faster payments – Screening as fast as 150 to 500 milliseconds supports leading faster payment schemes (including Instant SEPA Credit, Faster Payments, and FedNow.) A single API call screens every element of a transaction in real-time.
  4. Configurable risk – Screen against multiple data points to avoid true positive misses for sanctioned banks or other intermediaries.

Top ComplyAdvantage Features:

  • Real-time screening: Screen transactions in real-time to prevent delays and ensure efficient processing.
  • Optimized algorithms calibrated to our data power fast, accurate screening flexibility, and higher straight-through processing (STP) rates.
  • Tailored risk: Adjust the screening process based on your firm’s unique risk appetite and compliance requirements.
  • Flexible integration: Integrate with various payment systems and data sources, in batch or real time.
  • Robust reporting: Generate reports and provide insights to customers on screening results and any compliance issues that arise.
  • Flexible screening: Screen any payment attribute, including names, BIC codes, countries – even unstructured text fields.
  • Customizable screening profiles: Apply tailored lists and fuzziness levels to different payment corridors – for a differentiated, risk-based payments approach.
  • JSON RESTful API offers seamless integration. 
  • Out-of-the-box integration with several core banking platforms.
  • Flexible fuzzy logic and matching algorithms can screen using exact or approximate name matches.
  • Real-time API or batch ingestion of customer transaction data.
  • Comprehensive rules set to screen transactions against sanctions lists, PEPs and RCAs, warnings & regulatory enforcement, fitness & probity, and customer-supplied lists.
  • All-in-one data and platform solution integrated across the full screening stack – from data to screening and case management.

Companies that use ComplyAdvantage to screen payments include Currencycloud, Holvi, Raisin Bank, AZA Finance, and Qonto. 

2. LexisNexis

According to Crunchbase, LexisNexis “offers content-enabled workflow solutions in the legal, risk management, corporate, government, accounting, and academic markets.” 

Top LexisNexis Transaction Screening Features (5) (6):

  • Advanced linguistic analysis – Allows payment data to be compared with any sanction or watchlist.
  • More than 40 algorithms – Tailor transaction screening to specific requirements.
  • SWIFT compatible – Awarded the SWIFT Alliance Screening Add-on Label since 2001.
  • API-first approach supporting integration with existing systems.
  • Can be used in the cloud or on-premise.
  • Real-time filtering

According to LexisNexis, its customers include “8 of the world’s top 10 banks.” (6)

3. Hawk:AI

Crunchbase describes Hawk:AI as a “money-laundering detection & investigation platform.”

Top Hawk:AI Payment Screening Features (4):

  • AI technology automatically learns from past investigations history. 
  • Compatible with 3rd-party data for sanctions and risks.
  • Advanced name-matching algorithms can pinpoint sanctions risks and halt transactions in under a second.
  • Sandbox for algorithm fine-tuning before changes go live.

According to Hawk:AI, its partners include Visa, Mambu, and Sumsub. (4)

4. Napier

According to Crunchbase, Napier is “a new breed of financial crime compliance technology specialist.”

Top Napier Payment Screening Features (7) (8):

  • AI Advisor supports rules and manual reviews by identifying false positives and providing explanations.
  • Flexible configuration engine allows screening against any list or payment field.
  • Natural language processing and advanced matching algorithms – with support for eighteen languages, including Arabic and Simplified Chinese.

According to Napier, its customers include Starling Bank. (7)

5. FinScan

Crunchbase describes FinScan as providing “the most advanced sanctions list and PEP compliance solutions available to help financial services organizations.”

Top FinScan Transaction Screening Features (1) (2):

  • Access to over 70 public sanctions and exclusion lists, and integration with data providers like Dow Jones and World-Check.
  • Fuzzy matching allows custom results.
  • Real-time transaction screening via APIs, or batch processing. 
  • Screen against any relevant field in a payment message.
  • Payment format support for SWIFT MT, SWIFT MX, and ISO 20022.
  • Support for major networks like CHIPS, ACH, SEPA, SIC, and SARIE.

According to Finscan, its customers include EBANX, Gallagher, Volvo, and Qatar General. (7)

Best payment screening software companies: Side-by-side comparison

ComplyAdvantage LexisNexis Hawk:AI Napier FinScan
Real-time Payment Screening Yes Yes Yes (4) Yes (7) Yes (1)
Artificial Intelligence Payment screening can be integrated with the wider ComplyAdvantage platform, which offers automated solutions based on natural language processing and machine learning.  Not listed. “We constantly learn from your investigators and your customer’s context, then automatically close cases which your investigators repeatedly identify as unsuspicious.” (4) “Powered by artificial intelligence, AI Advisor helps analysts review alerts faster by identifying false positives in client screening. Using artificial intelligence to analyse screening matches and determine whether the match can be discounted or requires further review, AI Advisor supports manual decision making and a rule-based approach.

AI Advisor provides an explanation which helps the user to understand the key factors that were influential in its decision.” (7)

Not listed.
Comprehensive Sanctions Coverage Screen transactions using quality and up-to-date data from 140 global sanctions lists – and 1200 watchlists. Screen against the latest lists in as little as 60 minutes.  “Maximize precision and performance by comparing

payment data against any sanction or watchlist

with advanced linguistic analysis.” (5)

“Use your choice of 3rd party data for Sanction and High-Risk Country risks.” (4) “Powerful and flexible

screening rule configuration

engine allowing configuration

against any list and field in

the payment record.” (8)

“Global list coverage:

Screen against the latest sanctions and watchlists, PEP and adverse media databases, or internal lists.”

“FinScan natively integrates with leading AML risk data providers, such as Dow Jones and World-Check. Access up-to-date data on watchlists, politically exposed persons (PEPs), and adverse media from a single platform.”

“FinScan provides access to over 70 public sanctions and exclusion lists, including OFAC, HM Treasury, EU consolidated and terrorist lists, PEPs, OCC lists, and more.” (2)

Flexible Fuzzy Logic and Matching Algorithms Yes: Customers have the flexibility to choose if entities are screened using exact name matches, or approximate fuzzy matches. “With more than 40 algorithms, 15 advanced and optional modules and multiple linguistic capabilities, Firco Continuity can be tailored to suit your requirements, geography and risk appetite.” (6) “Our advanced name matching algorithms normalize data and identify sanctions risks, stopping transactions in less than 150ms.” (4) “Natural language processing and advanced matching algorithms reduce false positives, allowing analysts to focus on real alerts.” (7) “FinScan’s proprietary screening algorithm provides more accurate and comprehensive results…”

“Tap into the power of fuzzy matching to get the best possible results with customized field control.” (2)
Batch and Real-time Data Ingestion Through our flexible data model, customers can choose how they supply their transaction data to us: Ingested via real-time API or in batch. Not listed. Not listed. Not listed. “FinScan can screen transactions in real-time via APIs or batch processing. FinScan’s fast processing will keep your operations running smoothly and efficiently, allowing you to process large transaction volumes quickly.” (1)
Customer-configured “Safe” and “Exclude” Lists Customers can supply their own “safe” and  “exclude” lists to incorporate as part of the screening process. This helps reduce false positives. Not listed. Not listed. Not listed. Not listed.
Configurable Screening Payment screening can screen every element of a transaction in real-time with a single API call. The solution is highly configurable to meet firms’ risk-based approach. It allows screening against multiple data points to avoid true positive misses for sanctioned banks or other intermediaries. “Detect all meaningful hits with a flexible and

configurable system, reducing the number of false

positives alerts by leveraging automation and the

latest ISO 20022 payment formats to ensure relevancy

of alerts.” (5)

“Fine-tune the algorithm and conduct what-if analyses based on real data in a sandbox, committing changes only when you are ready.” (4) “Powerful and flexible

screening rule configuration

engine allowing configuration

against any list and field in

the payment record.” (8)

“Mitigate the risk of financial penalties by screening transactions parties against sanctions and PEP lists and establishing a risk-based configuration comprising various transaction attributes such as ordering entity and beneficiaries, BIC code elements, currency types, dual-use goods, and countries.”

“Tailor your level of protection to your risk tolerance to efficiently process low-risk transactions while focusing on those with higher risk.”“Extract and screen all relevant fields from a payment message, including free-format text fields, to establish granular controls for each payment element to support your regulatory requirements – with guaranteed fast processing performance.” (1)
Supports Faster Payments Supports fast payments with processing taking less than 1 second, for minimal time-lags. “Screen transactions at speed while controlling

costs and meeting regulator requirements.” (5)

“FircoTM solutions have been awarded the SWIFT Alliance Screening Add-on Label since 2001.” (6)

Not listed. “Powered by artificial intelligence, AI Advisor helps analysts review alerts faster by identifying false positives in client screening.” (7) “Experience the assurance of knowing your business continuity is secure with lightning-fast payments and robust technology.” (1)
Payment Types Ingested (rails) Our solution covers all major payment types, within weeks, with no implementation costs. SWIFT is the primary format mentioned in public materials (6). Not listed. Not listed. “Quickly and accurately process any transaction type for domestic payments and international wires for efficient risk detection.”

“FinScan natively processes SWIFT MT, SWIFT MX and ISO 20022 payment formats. We provide comprehensive support across all leading networks including CHIPS, ACH, SEPA, SIC and SARIE.” (1)
All-in-one Platform All-in-one data and platform solution – integrated across the full screening stack, from data to screening and case management. “Provides businesses with an end-to-end solution from the preparation of data to auditing of transaction screening, including filtering and alert remediation. Enhanced traceability allows you to quickly answer regulators’ questions on past alert decisioning.” (6) “Reduce time per case with a centralized interface:

Give investigators a clear, 360° picture to rapidly and thoroughly inspect cases without switching systems. Quickly identify the reason for the alert and find possible courses of action.

The Dashboard view produces additional top-down insights on screening activity. This allows you to identify any issue with the workload, hit handling performance, or case backlog. When employing our Machine Learning module, you can see the false positive reduction achieved in real-time.” (4)

“Dashboard Reporting

Our dashboards give compliance team leaders a top-down view

of key screening activity. Team

leaders can easily see current

screening configurations

and view customers that are

creating the most hits. The

dashboards also provide a

graphical view of team activity

and workflows – highlighting

any issues with backlog,

workload, and performance.” (8)

Transaction screening is listed as a capability of Finscan’s core platform.

“One platform for all your KYC & AML needs

Easily choose the FinScan capabilities you need to comply with global regulations and strengthen your AML operations.” (9)

Integration with Existing Compliance Stack Fully cloud-based solution, easily accessible via RESTful API. “Available on cloud or on premise and following an

API-first approach, Firco Continuity easily integrates

with existing IT systems, and is supported by

technologies that enable optimal performance

and scalability.” (5)

Not listed. Not listed. On the core platform page, which lists transaction screening among other capabilities:

“Integrate screening into existing workflows…Embed your screening process into your applications and perform queries in real time or preset schedules.” (9)


All information sourced from publicly available websites, and correct as of August 2023. If you’d like to request a correction, please e-mail [email protected] and we’d be happy to review this with you.

Next Steps: Explore Payment Screening from ComplyAdvantage

Discover why leading firms choose ComplyAdvantage for Payment Screening, and book a demo to see the solution for yourself.

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Originally published 01 September 2023, updated 09 February 2024

Disclaimer: This is for general information only. The information presented does not constitute legal advice. ComplyAdvantage accepts no responsibility for any information contained herein and disclaims and excludes any liability in respect of the contents or for action taken based on this information.

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