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News

PEP screening system for Vodafone

Datanomic : 15 July, 2008  (Application Story)
Customer screening to take place in Tanzania by Vodafone using dn:Director from Datanomic
Anti-Money Laundering specialists, Datanomic has announced that Vodafone has selected and deployed its dn:Director Sanctions/PEP (Politically Exposed Persons) Screening solution for a new mobile money transfer service. Datanomic is already screening approximately 2.5 million customers every week in Tanzania, and will be screening many more in Afghanistan, Kenya, India and globally as the service is further deployed in future. Vodafone's Money Transfer service is aimed at developing countries, and Datanomic's technology will ensure stringent anti-money laundering practices are upheld. Datanomic's solution is scalable and has the potential to screen all of Vodafone's 300 million customers globally.

Vodafone Money Transfer not only benefits local people but also large migrant populations who want a secure means of sending money back home. Statistics show $93 billion in remittances is sent by migrants overseas back to Africa alone. Vodafone provides a means of making such developing economies much more liquid. Tanzania was the first country in the world to go live with the service last year, known as M-PESA, which is offered by Vodacom, the leading mobile network operator in Southern Africa and Vodafone. The service is available to all members of the public, even if they do not have a bank account or a bank card. Datanomic's solutions check customer names against Sanctions and Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs) from Dow Jones Watch List, and enables Vodafone to comply with worldwide anti money laundering regulation, such as HM Revenue and Customs, multiple EU Anti-Money Laundering Directives, the USA PATRIOT Act, as well as central bank requirements such as the Central Bank of Kenya and the Central Bank of Tanzania.

"As a global operator, Vodafone has to comply with UK and EU anti-money laundering legislation, including the EU 3rd Money Laundering Directive, as well as local regulations," said Mark Clemison, Group Money Laundering Reporting Officer for Vodafone. "However, we also wanted to ensure our products and services were in line with our corporate social responsibility, and protect our brand reputation in the environments we work in. We spent a year evaluating vendors and Datanomic's Sanctions/PEP Screening software provided extraordinary accuracy, scalability and resilience for a global implementation such as ours. In addition, dn:Director was by far the most user friendly and comprehensive in terms of functionality. It was important that we selected a vendor that not only met all the technical requirements, but also has the pedigree, experience and professionalism to deploy on a global scale with Vodafone. We want to be market leaders in the territories we enter, and Datanomic helps us to ensure a benchmark of quality by enabling us to screen, monitor and manage the service we are delivering."

Datanomic's Sanctions/PEP Screening solution has a rapid installation time of just 15-20 days per site. An added benefit of using the Datanomic solution has been the data cleansing of Vodafone's customer data, which benefits other departments within the Vodafone Group, such as customer services and marketing.

"There have been many additional advantages from Datanomic as a result of the data preparation that takes place prior to screening," added Clemison. "The data quality, auditing, cleansing, and validation of customer data are absolutely critical to get right prior to screening. Datanomic does this better than anybody. The sheer power and capability of Datanomic's screening algorithms is provided by perhaps the most sophisticated and flexible fuzzy logic capabilities available for customer data matching available today. We have been able to feed this value back to the business as part of a closed loop process."

Datanomic's dn:Director Sanctions/PEP Screening solution enables Vodafone to accurately screen its customer base and maintain control over its own data. dn:Director scales from a few thousand records to many millions and can be deployed in weeks instead of months, enabling systematic screening without undue burden. Large volumes of customer data and traditional methods of matching, typically matching exact name fields only, create a far too many false positives requiring extensive manual review and adding further to the compliance headache. With Datanomic, Vodafone will avoid wasting time and effort dealing with recurring 'false positives' of known or suspected sanctions/PEPs. Datanomic minimizes the operational impact of achieving and maintaining Vodafone's regulatory compliance requirements on the day to day operation of the business.

"Most banks won't offer services to people who may only earn as little as $1.50 a day," said Dr. Jonathan Pell, CEO of Datanomic. "Mobile operators, such as Vodafone, are capable of opening up local economies by offering a cost effective and convenient way for developing countries to get access to financial services. Vodafone is providing an extremely valuable service and a major boost for many people living in abject poverty. We are delighted to be working with Vodafone to help ensure the system is not abused by money launderers, criminal gangs, known terrorists or others whose activities may compromise foreign policy or national security."

The Datanomic solution will be managed by Vodafone Group's Global Anti-Money Laundering team in the UK, who will be responsible for configuring and monitoring management information. In each territory, a local team of people on the ground will follow up any investigations and alerts. If a match is found, Datanomic's solution automatically triggers an alert locally, as well as sending an alert to Vodafone headquarters in the UK for management reporting purposes, enabling Vodafone to have a comprehensive breakdown of risk exposure on a country by country basis.
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