Kyc Portal – Planet Compliance RegTech Interview (2021)

Let start with a brief introduction, what can you tell us about KYC Portal and your RegTech offering?  
KYC Portal is a real-time, risk driven client lifecycle management platform with full ownership of policy automation – increasing operational efficiencies and redefining business relationship outreach. It focuses on streamlining and automating the back-office of any due diligence process. It allows you to define and manage all your regulatory and policy requirements within the system and it then provides the operational capacity to automate and manage the entire process from on-boarding relationship management all throughout the automation of ongoing aspects of KYC such as risk-based approach, reporting, document requests, automated risk-based questionnaires etc

What are some of the biggest challenges your solutions you solve for your clients?

These can be grouped into three main aspects:
1) Reducing Risk Exposure
Risk is one of the biggest challenges that companies who operate in regulated markets face on an ongoing basis. The mammoth task of having to check all one’s clients (both new and ongoing) risk across all the plethora of elements that conduce risk is never ending. To make it worse however, the definition of risk is also constantly changing. Changing due to new regulations, market happenings and internal policy. These changes lead to companies having to embark on updating such risk factors in their internal processes for both new client and existing ones. Risk however is not only defined for regulated markets. We see quite a lot of clients in non-regulated markets who manage and try to minimise the risk exposure to their brand and services who also adhere to such processes. KYCP addresses this challenge by allowing our clients to be able to define, manage and tweak the entire definition of risk in KYCP in real time. A system that calculates risk on all the subjects in real time based on the defined policy. A system that then triggers requirements for escalation, request for new documents, process flows and other elements of enhanced due diligence in real time. The second that a subject is exposing the company to risk, the system will notify the internal team and therefore act accordingly. This reduces the risk exposure that companies face to the minute that it happens also reducing the risk in between manual processes and reviews.

2) Reducing Cost of Compliance
The cost of ensuring compliance keeps skyrocketing due to the ongoing changes within the regulatory frameworks. Companies need to focus on minimising their risk. Which risk is dependant on having constant ongoing communication with subjects, asking and checking new documentation, analysing the data being received and most of all the ability to have to calculate risk on all subjects. KYCP focuses on automating most of the processes. The risk-based process is fully automated on all subjects and in real time. The entire solution is configurable in a way that allows a customer to create process flows on real time data for the application to take the necessary actions without any human input. This automation can decide when subjects should be monitored daily for PEP exposure, sanctions and adverse media. Having the system do this automatically based on risk and data allows the client to have the peace of mind that should something need the attention of the team, they will be alerted. Otherwise, the rest is fully automated. The cost of having to keep up with ongoing reviews of all subjects is also reduced drastically as the system flags anything that is required / needed at the stage that the company is exposed to risk rather than relying on the periodical review at which stage the team would have to start collating the requirements.

3) Client Outreach

Another big challenge within this industry is the way clients communicate with their subjects. On-boarding is a nightmare. A process that requires asking subjects to fill in forms and questionnaires which are usually sent and received via email. Documents are then asked as a follow-up of such forms being received. This process is even more complex and costly when it comes to business / corporate on-boarding since there are endless parties / key principles within a structure that you would need to collate such information on for each party. The communication channel becomes endless and time consuming and also prone to human error. This challenge is not only at on-boarding stage but also throughout the ongoing relationship with clients whereby the reviews have to happen at periodical stages. KYCP comes with a very powerful addon for B2B on-boarding specifically to address these challenges. A centralised digital platform that allows you to give access to your B2B clients to be able to manage their entire process and application. From creating and managing their company structure to filling in all the required forms, questionnaires and documents. This module is fully dynamic and reacts based on the policy defined in KYCP itself. So the company is in full control of defining what shows and for whom in such a dynamic interface. This reduces the to-ing and fro-ing with customers at on-boarding stage as the system is presenting the customer with what is needed only based on the data being input and the real time risk. This module also has an embedded face to face video utility that allows the company to conduct face to face meetings with subjects. This includes a real time biometric verification to ensure that the subject on the video is the same as the one in the proof of ID provided.

Could you give us a use case of why a client came to you and how they are using your solution to solve their particular challenge? 
The most common use case as to why clients buy our solution is that of reducing risk and cost of compliance. One of the best use cases however is this Tier 1 Financial Institution based in UK which focused on both the automation of the back-office processes to reduce risk and cost, and also to be able to offer their institutional clients a digital platform to be able to manage all their applications with the bank in real time. The project has been live for over 6 months whereby the Bank in question integrated KYCP with all their internal core systems including Internet Banking (so that the clients can access all their applications and data from within the same access that they have of the bank). A solution that has achieved the target of automation of back-office operations and also visibility to institutional clients to their relationship with the bank. The project keeps growing in scope where KYCP is being applied to new channels and products of the bank.

How would you describe the differences between your offering from others in your RegTech category?
The biggest USP that our product has over the other service offerings is that the platform is fully dynamic and gives control to the customer to be able to tweak such settings at any point in time without development requirements. In an industry where regulations are constantly changing and risk perception is all the time being adapted, such a feature is crucial for clients as it gives them the peace of mind that their entire database is always updated based on the latest requirements.

What advice would you give to decision makers when choosing a RegTech solution such as the ones your offer?
RegTech solutions focus on technology that assist in improving or automating your processes relating to regulatory processes. Always remember that such regulations are constantly evolving. So whatever solution you go for always ensure that you choose one that has the capability of keeping up with such changes, ideally without the need to have to call in the vendor each time.

Due to the global pandemic a lot has changed in the world in the last year. How has your company changed in the in the last 12 months?

The pandemic has actually fast tracked those decisions that clients / leads were in the process of taking in implementing solutions similar to ours. The lock-down measures meant that institutions could not meet their subjects face to face any more to reduce their risk. It also meant that throughout the past 12 months most of the staff within compliance teams were working remotely leading to challenges in processes and task management. This is exactly what KYCP addresses. A digital platform that allows companies to implement a digital platform to communicate with customers, conduct face to face meetings and also, a centralised solution to allow the compliance team to keep operating as per normal.

Can you tell us about some of your most recent achievements or milestones you’ve reached?
As any other company, sales and bottom-line figures is what drives any company. However, the biggest achievement we are really proud of is that within a span of 4 years we have over 60 live clients in over 9 different industries spanning over 14 jurisdictions (including most countries in Europe, the USA, Africa and the Gulf).

What is drives you as company what is KYC Portal long-term vision?

We keep enhancing the product with new features and new modules all the time. All client feedback is channelled into the product as a feature making the product more client centric and also ensuring that all clients are getting the best feature set possible. We already have a market leader product, we intend to keep it that way with ongoing R&D and new ground-breaking technology.

What are some of the important developments you are seeing in the RegTech industry?
The introduction of AI in RegTech solutions. This is an area of study that keeps being applied to various technologies within this field. However, I believe that we still have a long way to go before such technology presents enough business benefit to justify its cost.

What’s next for KYC Portal?
Interesting times ahead. Our R&D team have been working on quite an interesting set of features that are soon to be launched within the product. One feature in particular however is quite ground-breaking and looking forward to seeing client’s reactions.What’s the best way for potential clients or investors to get in touch with you?
Through our website www.kycportal.com

Planet Compliance

Planet Compliance is a marketplace where institutions and corporates can discover RegTech and LegalTech solutions. Planet Compliance also operates a content platform that provides information and insights on technology, regulation, compliance, finance and innovation.
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