Search and Match: Navigate Muddy International Waters

Geopolitics entering Banking IT

Author: Jan-Kees Buenen

The global financial system is weaponized in the war that the US and the international community are waging on rogue states and individuals. Regulators harness the international financial and banking system for strategic-political purposes. Countries like North-Korea, Iran and Russia are hit through boycotts. But also high-level individuals and their business entities are targeted. Oligarchs in Putin’s circle have been blacklisted. And recently, the US authorities have cut off members of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps from international financial services. Global efforts on anti-terrorism financing are also intensified through Customer Due Diligence (CDD).

Banks and other financial service providers need to step up their initiatives for identifying suspect transactions, people and businesses. This goes far beyond the traditional detection procedures for money laundering and fraud detection. Banks falling short may be punished severely, as several European cases have demonstrated recently. There is only one way for financials to meet the challenges that this new geopolitical environment brings about. And that is automated leveraging of all their data. All data in all processes should be scrutinized to find suspect people, entities and money or to see patterns that may indicate suspect activities. A single truth version of the data has become a must have!

In finding illegal things, any bank has two scenarios that may apply:

  1. Pattern recognition: look for unusual patterns or for patterns that are typical for suspect actions and transactions. In the long run, this scenario may be very effective, as is proven on a daily basis in the cyber security domain where pattern recognition is now one of the main defense practices. But pattern recognition requires immense and time-consuming efforts in creating a monitoring infrastructure, building a rule base, machine learning and validation of the outcomes. Nevertheless, it’s coming. Augmented analytics, an approach that uses machine learning, natural language processing and other automation tools, is poised to dominate the data analysis and business intelligence markets by 2020, according to Gartner.
  2. Search and match: find the needle in the haystack by vetting all available data for clues. Basically, well known concepts and initiatives follow this approach, such as Know Your Customer (KYC), Customer Due Diligence (CDD), Periodic Due Diligence (PDD) and Anti Money Laundering (AML). These are just some of the typical processes that banks and financial service providers have or should have in place. The Search and Match scenario also comes with substantial investments in time and money as the workloads are increasing dramatically as the scope of the associated processes is stretched and will be stretched even further. Regulators are bringing significant more customers under review. Search and Match processes are to a large extent done manually, driving the need for improving economics. And while these processes need to scale up, the human factor limits the scaling capabilities of the process. You simply do not resolve the scaling problem by bringing in more people, even if they could be found in an overheated labor market.

How to scale?

search and match

So how to scale then? Synerscope’s view on the challenge:

  1. A single truth of data in the structured and unstructured domain comes first
  2. Reduce noise / cut the crap
    To keep costs in check SynerScope delivers a triage solution that reduces the number of files to be inspected. This will significantly lower the cycle time of the individual client files from 4 hours to 20 minutes per file.
  3. Look into unstructured data
    In order to find a needle, the whole haystack needs to be examined. Not only the parts of the haystack that are clean and dry, but also the messy, dirty patches. The same applies to the data sources of the bank. The unstructured data in social media, emails, Whatsapp messages, docs and sheets must be analyzed as well to get a 360o view of the subject of investigation and its relations. Not only the ‘easy’ part of clean and structured data in databases must be inspected. Remember: 80% of data is generally considered unstructured data and is left unused for decision-making.
  4. Use visualization as a means for accessing and interrogating data
    The right tooling for visualization can offer much more than just presenting analysis in a pretty way. The tooling will help to maneuver in and between complex data sets in search for those ‘needles’ you need to find.

The SynerScope platform is a point solution for Search and Match in all its appearances. Most companies already have a lot of automation available. Unfortunately, these technologies are not always making it easy to be compliant with the new regulations. The SynerScope platform helps you to be compliant without having to replace your existing critical automation, by analyzing and assessing your whole data lake of structured and unstructured data.

SynerScope helps you to steer clear of criminals, adversaries and unwanted customers in a complex global network of transactions. Visit us at

KPMG and Synerscope launch their Alliance to help businesses fight financial crime

Amsterdam, the Netherlands, May 16, 2019

KPMG (NL) and SynerScope

KPMG (NL) and SynerScope, a Dutch software scale up, today announced their alliance to offer enhanced services offerings with a focus on the Dutch financial services industry to combat financial crime through the use of SynerScope’s patented technology. SynerScope combines big data, artificial intelligence driven detection of anomalies and fraud, with strong visualizations to achieve speed in tight human-computer collaboration. The KPMG- SynerScope partnership focuses on the improvement of data-driven Customer Due Diligence (CDD), the Know Your Customer (KYC) and uncovering and blocking of money flows specifically targeting money laundering (AML) in the financial sector.

Both KPMG and SynerScope, as partners of Microsoft, look to expand their solution on the global Microsoft Azure footprint. “Microsoft encourages alliances between trusted partners like Synerscope and KPMG to fight financial crime. The combination of human ingenuity and technology can drive business relevancy in the financial services industry.” Raimond Nol, Director Financial Services Netherlands, Microsoft

Not just manpower

“To strengthen Customer Due Diligence, Know Your Customer and Anti Money Laundering form the absolute priority for financial institutions”, says Leonie de Hek, KPMG Forensic. De Hek: “tens of millions are being invested to enhance the processes, mostly by taking on more people that can check. But taking on extra people only does not have the required effect. The solution is in the combination of humans and technology. Upfront smart data analysis will ensure that people are being deployed on transactions and customers with a high risk factor.

A lot of financial institutions struggle with the large volumes and different types of data, structured and especially unstructured. By being able to process large volumes and different types of structured and unstructured data, the KPMG – SynerScope alliance is able to provide their clients insights that previously were hidden, or too time intensive to extract.

Early Detection of Irregularities

KPMGs global expertise in financial accounting and technological integration of business processes, combined with SynerScope´s robust software platforms, will provide an immensely powerful system to recognize financial irregularities through advanced Technology. “Combining the capabilities of KPMG and SynerScope will herald a major step forward in the way financial crime can be investigated”, says Jan-Kees Buenen, CEO of SynerScope. The patented technology is complementary with the current data analysis systems. Our platform distinguishes itself by being able to process raw source data and to combine all types of data. This closes the gap between data scientists and domain experts. This results in the effective use of limited capacity for identification of transactions and customer groups with a high risk.

Translation into strategic decisions

According to Buenen, the alliance will not only allow customers to truly understand and know their data, but also how to translate these insights into sound business decisions. It is the human capacity to ask questions and think in an associative manner that allows them to recognize patterns. It is precisely for this reason that subject matter experts are needed together with technology to arrive at meaningful insights in data analysis.



KPMG alliance Synerscope

About SynerScope

SynerScope is a High-Tech Dutch software company, founded in 2011 as a spin-off of Eindhoven University. The company focuses on developing techniques and products to process big amounts of complex data faster than traditional solutions. Resulting in easy to use, affordable and highly effective technology. In order to support you when you need data the most, to take important management strategic or daily operational decisions, or to show you new strategic business opportunities at one glance. The company currently employs 27 people that deliver next-generation data platform solutions Ixiwa and Iximeer.

About KPMG Nederland

Since 1917, KPMG has been offering high-quality services in the field of accountancy and advice in the Netherlands. We support organizations to make informed decisions and to excel in the world of today and tomorrow. We do this on the assumption that progress is only real progress if it is good for people and society. “People-driven progress” is our view on progress and the way in which we want to add value for our customers with our services. KPMG Nederland employs three thousand professionals located in twelve offices. The Dutch practice is conducted from Amstelveen. KPMG Nederland is part of an international network of independent KPMG offices that is managed from Canada.

For information, contact:

Ineke Swerissen

Andy Bellm,
KPMG The Netherlands
(020) 656 7039