19 Nov 2021
Case Study

Accurate Watchlist Screening at the Speed of Cryptocurrency

Rosette strengthen watchlist screening for cryptocurrency, improves customer experience

Uphold is a digital money platform for foreign exchange and remittances between crypto and traditional currencies, delivering anything-to-anything transactions across 80+ currencies and in 184+ countries. These frictionless transactions enable its users to make everyday purchases with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Uphold acts as the intermediary to seamlessly convert crypto to the customer’s local currency.

The Challenge: Financial compliance regulations require banking institutions to screen current and new customers against watchlists to prevent money laundering and other crimes. Uphold’s screening system was producing too many false positives, which slowed down the onboarding of new customers by holding up innocent applicants.

“Our market is so volatile that users want to sign up and trade immediately. If they miss a favorable opportunity, that is a poor customer experience and a reputation hit,” Chris Adjei-Ampofo, CIO of Uphold, said.

The Solution: Uphold chose name matching technology Rosette® by Basis Technology to increase the accuracy of its screening. Rosette has AI algorithms that know how names vary in more than 20 languages. Every name comparison produces a match confidence score that is consistent and explainable to financial regulators, and enables the institution to automatically respond to each match according to its risk policy.

“Before Rosette, we were getting a lot of false positives, which translates to hundreds of thousands of alerts for our compliance team to investigate, leading to delays during sign-up,” Adjei-Ampofo said.

The Impact: Integrating Rosette into Uphold to check new accounts and periodically rescreen existing accounts against watchlists has significantly reduced the number of false alerts, resulting in frictionless customer onboarding and reduced risk of inadvertently transacting business with sanctioned individuals.

“We chose Rosette because it improves the efficiency, speed, and accuracy of our screening, and keeps us compliant with sanctions regulations and free from incurring hefty fines,” Adjei-Ampofo said. “But the real value of Rosette is delivering a seamless customer experience for good customers, whilst protecting Uphold by flagging bad actors.”