Sanctions Screening


Sanctions screening is a source of significant delay in traditional cross-border payments. For this reason, we have identified ways that Nexus can improve this process.
Importantly, Nexus does not perform the sanctions screening itself; this remains the responsibility of the banks involved in the payment. However, Nexus will support the sanctions screening process by:
  • encouraging banks to do sanctions screening before the payment instruction is sent (wherever possible), so that any issues can be resolved in advance. This supports a better user experience for the Sender by avoiding unexpected and unexplained delays in the payment.
  • imposing higher data quality standards, so that both the Source and Destination Bank can complete their screening effectively. This should help to reduce the number of payments that are incorrectly matched against sanctions lists,
providing an API-based method for the Source and Destination Bank and Liquidity Providers to communicate with each other when further information is required. This is intended to automate the “Request for Information” process and avoid – in most cases – the need for manual (human) intervention.

The need for sanctions screening

Regulations require that cross-border payments must be checked against sanctions lists to prevent payments being made to terrorists, drug traffickers and other illicit activities. Sanctioned entities can include individuals, companies, organisations and governments. In addition, entire countries may be sanctioned by other jurisdictions (‘geographic” sanctions).
Multiple countries issue sanctions lists, including the USA, European Union, United Kingdom, as well as the United Nations. Different lists apply in each jurisdiction, so the Sender and Recipient banks, as well as FX Providers, will need to check the sanctions lists that apply to them.