Financial Crime Compliance Technology: Watchlist Screening Edition—2024 XCelent Awards, Powered by VendorMatch

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21 February 2024

Celent profiles 22 incumbent and new entrant providers of transaction filtering and customer screening solutions supporting sanctions and KYC, and hands out XCelent Awards for Technology, Functionality, and Customer Service.


Watchlist screening has become the most-scrutinized area of AML compliance, and vendor solutions are evolving rapidly, driven by AI, machine learning, and hyperscaled performance. The dominance of incumbent vendors is being challenged by new regtech entrants as competition heats up across all segments and regions.

The digital financial services revolution is bringing new watchlist screening use cases, like digital onboarding and faster payments, to the fore. Increasingly complex, high volume and fast transactional environments are all leading to increased regulatory demands for assurance around screening processes. As a result, financial institutions are increasingly applying new or updated technologies to enhance screening capabilities.

The improvements financial institutions are making to screening systems fall into two broad categories. Platform improvements focus on providing flexible, scalable technology—often deployed in the cloud—to meet the demanding requirements of modern financial services. Analytic enhancements are aimed at improving screening accuracy and strengthening risk coverage as financial institutions seek to reduce the operational costs of excessive false positives while strengthening financial crime prevention capabilities. Many of the vendors evaluated in this report are helping financial institutions improve their systems by delivering more modern capabilities on the platform side, in analytics, or both.

Celent's report aims to support financial institutions with technology decisions for financial crime compliance. The report looks at both incumbent and new entrant watchlist screening systems from across the globe and evaluates them according to Celent’s ABC Vendor View and Celent’s Technology Capabilities Matrix.

To analyze the capabilities of screening systems, we invited some 40 software providers worldwide to participate in Celent’s research. Because some vendors chose not to participate or ultimately did not fulfill the participation requirements, the final report features 22 profiled vendors and 14 vendors fully participating in our ABC Vendor View analysis.

The profiles include Celent's analysis of the product, key features and analytics, and selling and servicing details. The 22 profiled vendors are Azentio, CGI Group, ComplyAdvantage, CSI, Eastnets, Exiger, Facctum, Global Screening Services (GSS), HAWK:AI, Innovative Systems (FinScan),, LexisNexis Risk Solutions (Firco), Moody's, Napier, Neterium, NICE Actimize, Oracle, Quantifind, Ripjar, Silent Eight, SymphonyAI Sensa-NetReveal, and TCS.

To help financial institutions and other regulated companies better understand the vendor landscape and compare providers, we use Celent's ABC methodology to position 14 of the systems across three dimensions: Advanced Technology, Breadth of Functionality and Customer Base and Support.

The report recognizes the following products with XCelent Awards for Watchlist Screening Systems:

• XCelent Technology: Hawk AI

• XCelent Functionality: NICE Actimize

• XCelent Customer Base and Support: CSI

The report also places each vendor within Celent's new Technology Capabilities Matrix (TCM) based on our overall market assessment, leveraging data from past briefings and client conversations. The TCM categories are:

Luminary: Excels in solution capabilities; generally has a leading market presence.

Technology Standout: Excels in technology modernity, although often without the same depth of features as leading competitors. Frequently newer, these solutions have chosen a focused set of functions with which to begin their journey.

Functionality Standout: Excels in functionality and likely to have a large installed base. Often more established, these solutions have built out a robust set of features over many years.

Noteworthy Solution: Potential challengers to the more established competition. They may occupy a niche place in the market, whether by targeted use case, by sector-leading features, by client size, or by geography.

Developing Solution: Typically new to the market. They may have the potential to mature into a market challenger.

Sign in or create an account to view how the vendors rank in the ABC and TCM quadrants.

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