A Guide to Anti-Money Laundering for Crypto Firms

Product Update: Improvements for Name Matching and CJK Name Searching

Starting on 22 June 2022, we are releasing a series of changes to our search and matching algorithm, which will improve the effectiveness and efficiency of your screening program. 

Below we explain what that means and explore the reasons for making this change; here it is in brief:

  • Easily identify which name or AKA caused each match and discount entities based on name mismatch more quickly and efficiently
  • Save remediation time by only seeing listings from data sources that are in scope for each search.
  • Reduce false positives when screening person names in Chinese script with more accurate transliteration

Improvements to all searches

  • We will now always show the name or Also Known As name (AKA) that caused the match with your search term at the top of each profile card in search results. Previously when the match was caused by an AKA you often had to click on the profile card to view the list of AKAs in order to understand the basis for the match.

For example, a search for Abu Musab al-Zarqawi before the change returned the card below left and after the improvement returns the same hit but displayed as shown below right, with the AKA that matched the search term:

  • Profiles in search results will now only include listings from data sources that were included in the scope of your search. For example, if you search a name against sanctions and PEPs only, you will no longer see information from warnings, fitness probity, or adverse media in your search results.
    • Clients not yet migrated to the default “search on sources” behavior will not see this change, and we will contact all affected clients shortly about easing the migration path to search on sources.
    • This new behavior may be disabled for your account by a new configuration option. Please contact support or your Customer Success Manager if you would like to discuss this option.

A card returned when searching sanctions only for Vladimir Putin without this behavior contains information from other sources not in the scope of the original search (on the left) and with this new behavior (on the right) only showing information from sanctions with the AKA that matched the search term:

  • Profiles in search results will now only include listings with the year of birth and country information that matches your search filters. Previously there were some circumstances where we displayed information that should be discounted based on year of birth and country filters. 
    • This change will apply only to new searches carried out from the release date onwards and will not impact any searches carried out before this date (so you will not see any monitor alerts relating to this change)

A search for Eduard Heger against all sources and with country filter France before applying this new behavior returns the card below left. With the new behavior applied the same hit is shown as the card below right, with a PEP listing removed from the profile since it does not match the country search filter:

Another example below shows a card returned for a search for Andy Harland with the year of birth filter 1901 before the improvement (on the left) and after (on the right) with the information from the Adverse Media listing discounted by the year of birth search filter:

  • For matching names in all non-Latin scripts, we will now show a Latin script transliteration in brackets after the name on the profile card.

The example below shows a card returned for a search Cheng Xiao Ming before (on the left) and after the improvement (on the right):

  • For profiles with non-Latin script AKAs, the number of AKAs shown on the profile card will often be significantly reduced because only the name(s) which caused a match will have transliterations displayed.

Improvements to name screening in Chinese script

  • We will now match person names written in Chinese script directly in Chinese script wherever possible. As a result of this change, we will no longer return results that should be discounted based on a non-matching Chinese script name.
    • Previously we transliterated all names into Latin script and applied our matching logic in Latin script. We will continue to return results based on Latin script transliteration where either the searched name or the matched name is only available in Latin script.

What do these improvements mean?

  • Clients can easily identify which name or AKA caused each match and discount based on name mismatch far more quickly.
  • Clients will save remediation time by:
    • Only seeing listings from data sources that are in scope for each search.
    • Only seeing listings that cannot be discounted based on year of birth or country information they have specified.
  • Clients screening person names in Chinese script will see fewer false positives.

What do I need to do?

  • No action is required to benefit from these improvements. They will be automatically applied in a series of releases over several days starting on or soon after 22nd June 2022.
  • If you have a significant number of searches for Chinese names in Chinese script that you have enabled for ongoing monitoring, you may receive a one-off spike in monitor alerts the day after this change is applied to your account. Please see below for more information about how you can disable these alerts if you wish.

How will this affect my monitoring alerts?

For person name searches in Chinese script:

If you have a significant number of searches for Chinese names in Chinese script that you have enabled for ongoing monitoring, you may wish to check that you have monitoring for removed entities set to “Off” in your account’s Monitor settings (see image below). If this setting is set “On” during these changes, you may experience a larger-than-usual number of removal alerts on the day after the change is applied to your account.

Settings > Monitor Settings

For all searches:

Now that we will show only listings from data sources in the scope of each search, we will be deprecating one of our configuration settings for ongoing monitoring.

  • The ‘listing type change’ setting (shown below) controls whether a listing type being added or removed on a profile should generate a monitoring alert. 
  • The ‘Any Listing Type’ option for this setting generated a monitor alert for all listing type changes even if the type was not in scope of the search. 
  • The ‘matches search filters’ option generated a monitor alert only for listing type changes for types that were in scope of the search. 
  • Since by default we will no longer be returning listings from sources outside the scope of each search, we will be deprecating the ‘Any listing type’ option from this setting. As a first step, on or soon after 22nd June any accounts with ‘Any listing type’ selected will be updated to the ‘Matches search filters’ setting as shown below.

This update is part of a program of improvements planned for customer name matching in 2022. If you have any queries, please contact the Customer Support team (support@complyadvantage.com).

Originally published June 16, 2022, updated June 17, 2022

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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