IBM has agreed to acquire Language Analysis Systems for an undisclosed sum.
The privately held Virginia-based company develops a multicultural name recognition technology that identifies foreign names and their spelling variations.
The technology can be applied in anti-money laundering operations and fraud detections by identifying variations of a name. It also facilitates the use of criminal blacklists in regulated sectors such as the insurance industry or banking. In the travel sector, airlines could use the technology to identify duplicate names across multiple reservations.
IBM plans to make the technology available to a series of the industry verticals with a focus on emerging markets.
"The global economy is outpacing our clients' ability to keep up with a changing world of customers, competitors and partners, and can impede their ability to capitalize on emerging opportunities, while making them more vulnerable to operational, reputational, and legal risk," Ambuj Goyal, IBM's general manager of Information Management said in a statement.
"LAS technology provides a new level of accuracy and assurance to organizations that depend upon access to the right information, in the right context, at the right time."
"The software was first used by the US State Department for reviewing visa applications. Today the company has around 40 implementations. It is used predominately in the government sector but also in banking and transportation to underpin fraud detection and prevention, anti money laundering, border security and compliance efforts," said Ovum analyst Helena Schwen.
"Interestingly, this is not the first company IBM has acquired for name-matching technology. Eliminating any potential overlap and inconsistencies between these software offerings must remain a priority for IBM moving forward, " she said.
- Matt Chapman contributed to this story.
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