For decades in business, the measure of networking prowess was defined by the content of a spinning wheel of index cards. Could you imagine relying on a Rolodex of business cards and pencil scratches to manage your relationships today? Hardly. Now imagine a global risk business tool relying on manual updates to track millions of known terrorists, human traffickers, and money launderers.
Fortunately, the team at International Screening Solutions imagined a different solution. While the market was focused on watchlists created regionally, maintained manually, and updated sporadically, ISS co-founders Chuck Papageorgiou and Eric Beach envisioned an automated global risk information exchange (GRIX) that could locate, aggregate, curate, and deliver risk data directly from the source.
“As more countries and agencies identified money laundering, human trafficking, and terror financing, the manually-updated tools couldn’t keep pace with all the new information being shared,” said Papageorgiou. “The old tools were okay when the blacklist alerts streamed from a handful of sources, but today it is more like a river of risk data. When a money launder is sanctioned in one location, they will often resurface somewhere else.”
Businesses everywhere need “know your customer” (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) programs to protect against the growing global risk. According to the Financial Action Task Force, human trafficking alone generates $150 billion annually in black market revenue. From a recent FATF report:
“Money laundering is inextricably linked to the underlying criminal activity that generated it. Laundering enables criminal activity to continue.”
Supported by customers including the world’s largest payroll and background screening companies, ISS developed GRIX to locate, aggregate, curate, and deliver information drawn from the “river of risk data” each day. ISS created a selective search engine to access validated information about individuals and businesses restricted from commercial activity because of their criminal activity. Algorithms dissected adverse information from structured and unstructured data, then indexed everything to accommodate customer-specific searches.
Delivery came in the form of WorldWatch Plus® – a customer-designed platform with case management, reporting, and custom filtering, available in a SaaS portal or integration with existing customer systems. Launched in 2015, utilization doubled each of the last three years, and ISS was named a Top 10 KYC Solution Provider by Banking CIO Outlook for 2017, and an Inc. 5000 entry for both 2016 and 2017.
ISS continues to build on four pillars of differentiation: casting a wider net, timely and relevant results, unmatched partnering and customer service, and a customer-friendly economic model. With customers on-boarding from around the world, the Rolodex at ISS is doing just fine.