Melissa Advises Negative News Screening for Onboarding Business Customers

Risk-based KYC, CFT, and AML compliance demands negative news screening (also known as adverse media) for both individuals and businesses.

Rancho Santa Margarita, CALIF – April 5, 2023  Melissa, a leading provider of global data quality, identity verification, and address management solutions, today advised extending negative news screening operations, also known as adverse media screening (AMS), to businesses as well as individuals being onboarded to financial institutions. AMS is increasingly important in customer due diligence (CDD) operations, where organizations are required to perform mandatory Know Your Customer (KYC), Combating the Financing of Terrorism (CFT), and anti-money laundering (AML) checks of individuals or businesses. Melissa further recommends AMS operations be automated as an essential factor in any well-rounded compliance program fighting fraud and financial crime.

“It is a real challenge for organizations to ensure their required compliance processes are smooth and seamless for customers, checks that typically consist of screening against politically exposed persons and global sanctions lists,” said Bud Walker, vice president enterprise sales and strategy, Melissa.

“Automated adverse media screening is a valuable addition to these standard processes, checking for negative news related to an individual or business even if they may not appear on any international watchlist. It’s critical to developing the most accurate risk profile for customers in the financial sector, as well as markets such as insurance, healthcare, or non-profit – anywhere employees in senior-level roles, prospective clients, or business partners may pose risk to operations or reputation.”

Melissa’s AMS services feature a spectrum of third-party global data sources, such as newspapers, magazines, TV, social media, radio, and press releases, used to check an individual’s background for any associated negative news. Processes are automated, eliminating AMS program management plagued by a high number of alerts that are time-intensive to consider and resolve manually. AMS screens for signs of money laundering, financial fraud, drug trafficking, financial threats or organized crime, terrorism, cybercrime, violent or sexual crimes, and appearances on past or present sanctions lists worldwide.

Melissa further recommends a series of best practices in AMS processes, starting with a wider screening approach that goes beyond current and new customers and extends to related account parties and beneficial owners of associated companies, corporate structures, or assets. False positive remediation is ideally controlled with smart matching protocols for screened names, and AMS alerts should be carefully recorded for reference and analysis over time, including false positives. Screening protocols should be assessed for relevance to a company’s compliance priorities and geographic requirements. Lastly, any media intelligence recorded should be ‘risk categorized’ so data managers can readily gauge any ongoing level of threat and continually improve compliance response.

AMS is typically paired with politically exposed persons (PEP) and sanctions screening, along with real-time verification of identity documents. Melissa’s AMS screening processes are central to its global electronic identity verification (eIDV) features, including its KYC and AML tools and services. These capabilities are designed to meet stringent international compliance obligations and are easily tailored to specific risk management requirements for fast and secure onboarding.

Together, identity document verification, biometric matching and liveness checks, age authentication, proof of address, global sanctions, watchlist, and adverse media screening establish a 360-degree view of the customer, giving organizations confidence in the nature of their customers and prospects.

Click here for more insight on Melissa’s adverse media screening tools and eIDV services so crucial to compliance, anti-fraud, and anti-money laundering initiatives. To connect with members of Melissa’s global intelligence team, visit or call 1-800-MELISSA.

About Melissa
Since 1985, Melissa has specialized in global intelligence solutions to help organizations unlock accurate data for a more compelling customer view. More than 10,000 clients worldwide in arenas such as retail, education, healthcare, insurance, finance, and government, rely on Melissa for full spectrum data quality and ID verification software, including data matching, validation, and enhancement services to gain critical insight and drive meaningful customer relationships. For more information or free product trials, visit or call 1-800-MELISSA (635-4772).

Media contacts
Greg Brown
Vice President, Global Marketing, Melissa
+1-800-635-4772 x1130

MPowered PR for Melissa

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