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Frequently Asked Questions about Transaction Screening

What do we mean by sanctions?

Sanctions are protective measures put in place by governments or international organisations to discourage criminal or illegal behaviour and to exert pressure on a regime to change its actions. These measures can be applied against countries, entities, individuals, organisations, or vessels.

What happens when sanctions are breached?

Breaching sanctions can lead to severe consequences. This includes monetary fines, criminal proceedings, damage to reputation, and sanctions. 

To illustrate, in the UK, breaches of financial sanctions are considered criminal offences punishable by up to 7 years in prison and may include monetary fines for individuals and businesses. 

Similarly, the US Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) views violations as a threat to national security. Offenders in the US may face monetary fines and imprisonment for up to 30 years.

How does Transaction Screening help detect and prevent sanctioned operations?

Swift's Transaction Screening solution is a secure, web-based platform that allows you to screen your incoming and outgoing financial transactions against up-to-date sanctions lists. It instantly alerts you if it identifies any suspicious activities. With over 90 comprehensive and up-to-date sanctions lists available, you can screen your transactions in real time as they flow over the Swift network.

Who might benefit most from using Transaction Screening?

Transaction Screening is designed to meet the needs of small to medium-sized banks, offering an easy implementation process, user-friendly interface, and affordable pricing. It can also be utilized by larger institutions that operate their own sanctions filters but seek an alternative, easy-to-use screening solution for certain flows or branches.

Which sanctions lists are covered by Transaction Screening?

We maintain a comprehensive library of more than 90 sanctions lists from major regulatory bodies, including The Office for Foreign Asset Control, the United Nations, the European Union, and HM Treasury. Additionally, we cover over 20 Sanctions Ownership Research lists from reputable third-party providers such as Dow Jones. You also have the flexibility to add your private lists.

Got another question? Reach out to our experts.

Screening your incoming and outgoing financial transactions against sanctions.

Why should I choose Swift's Transaction Screening?

With Transaction Screening, you can enjoy the benefits of independent, zero-footprint screening of your transactions directly on the Swift network, without the need to install additional software.

What is the pricing model for Transaction Screening?

Transaction Screening offers a competitive yearly subscription fee and a "pay-as-you-go" message screening model. For detailed pricing information, please reach out to your account manager.

How easy is it to get Transaction Screening up and running?

We offer standard onboarding packages that can be tailored to your specific implementation needs. Once you place an e-order to subscribe, our Professional Services Team will be in touch to assist you with the implementation, understanding, and testing of the Transaction Screening service until it goes live.

Which characters does Transaction Screening support?

Transaction Screening currently supports Latin characters and the Chinese Commercial Code. If you have specific character types you would like to discuss, please contact your account manager.

What message types are screened by Transaction Screening?

Transaction Screening is capable of screening outgoing and incoming MT and MX messages, as well as ISO 20022 messages related to domestic market infrastructures such as SEPA, ESMIG, CHAPS, and more.

For further information, please refer to our KB article.

What is Sanctions Testing and how does it differ from Transaction Screening?

Sanctions Testing is our leading product that provides assurance by independently assessing your compliance with sanctions regulations and optimizing your name and transaction screening filters according to your risk appetite. 

This ensures faster and frictionless payments. Sanctions Testing can be used to test in-house built screening engines or vendor-provided off-the-shelf solutions, offering a secure, web-based platform and providing an independent assurance report. 

For more details, click here. With Transaction Screening, customers benefit from a fully hosted and managed screening engine that undergoes regular testing by Swift, eliminating the need for separate testing of the screening filter.