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Sanctions Screening as a Service - A New Standalone API to Solve Compliance Fast

Sanctions Screening as a Service - A New Standalone API to Solve Compliance Fast

Louw Hopley  •  15 May 2020

We’re excited to announce the release of Root's new Sanctions Screening as a Service: an easy-to-use API that enables you to automatically screen new leads and existing customers against the United Nations Security Council Consolidated List.

The new sanctions screening API enables you to quickly embed screening directly into your customer journey, automating the compliance requirement entirely. Whether it’s an agent app, a self-help consumer-facing app, your CRM software – our API can do the thing.

To get to market faster, we’ve made it seamless for your software developers to integrate sanctions screening with only a few lines of code.

// Import the Root Sanctions Screening library and initiate it with your API key
const root = require('root-insurance')('your-root-api-key-here');

// Screen your customer
const result = await root.screen({
    fullNames: 'Erlich Bachman',
    idOrPassport: '3133731337',
    screeningType: 'lead'

This standalone service is priced at R3.00 (incl. VAT) per API-call, and is free for Root Platform clients.

At Root, we’re focused on enabling companies to move fast in the digital space - powering them to deliver innovative, relevant insurance experiences to their customers. We know that ticking compliance boxes often slows things down, and that’s why we’re committed to automating as much of it as possible to free up your time.

How to use Root’s sanction screening API

An API is definitely the best way to get the job done. Why do we say that?

  1. You can embed sanctions screening into your existing customer journeys and workflows.
  2. The screening process can be fully automated, wherever you need it.
  3. It offers a no-touch solution to sanctions screening. Once the API is embedded, no more work from a human is required.

Here’s what you need to do:

  • Embed the developer-friendly API into your customer journey to scan at least two touchpoints: when new customers are onboarded and before paying out a claim to a beneficiary.
  • Set up to screen your existing customer base in one go, using the bulk API.
  • Get your production API key, and Bob’s your uncle. You’re all set, and worrying about sanctions screening is a thing of the past.

Note that Root does not record or reuse any customer information passed to the API, except when there’s an actual match.

Why sanctions screening matters

As a business, you are directly responsible for scrutinising sufficient customer information to ensure that you do not have a sanctioned person/entity as a customer or potential customer. To do this, you need to screen customer information against the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) consolidated sanctions list. (The FIC also provides a copy of this list on their website.)

(Important to note: a nominated beneficiary is regarded as a potential customer, who, upon the vesting of a policy, becomes your customer. See Public Compliance Communication 48.)

To meet the FIC’s requirements, you would have to scan customers at the following touch points in your customer journey:

  • During new customer take-on
  • When new beneficiaries are loaded
  • When customer details change
  • When changes are made to existing beneficiaries
  • Before making payouts to beneficiaries

In addition to the touchpoint screenings, your entire customer base (including beneficiaries) should also be screened on a regular basis.

Get your sanctions screening API key

We believe that, with the right technology, the heavy lifting of running an insurance business can be taken care of. That’s the part we do, so that you can focus on offering more value and creating better experiences for your customers.

To get your sanctions screening API key, contact us straight away!

As with all things compliance, remember to check with your compliance officer about your business’ FICA requirements.


Louw Hopley

Co-Founder / CEO at Root

Root is an end-to-end digital insurance platform that enables you to launch new products and digital engagement channels fast. We package all the compliance, regulatory and reporting complexities behind easy-to-use APIs, allowing your team to focus on building great customer experiences.

Are you interested in taking your insurance business to the next level today? Email us at [email protected] or get in touch here to hear more.

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