Interview with Alex Baydin, CEO at PerformLine
Let start with a brief introduction, what can you tell us about PerformLine and your RegTech offering?
Alex Baydin: PerformLine is the only omni-channel solution that covers all major marketing and sales channels for regulatory and brand compliance within one single platform—eliminating the need for multiple-point solutions and manual review. Financial institutions can get complete coverage of their brand on the web, in call centers, emails, messages, documents, and social media. Financial institutions can easily monitor thousands of assets automatically, ensuring complete compliance across employees, partners, and other third parties and individuals.
Our technology discovers and monitors a financial institution’s brand(s) wherever they appear, and uses proprietary rulebooks to provide compliance scores and create alerts for remediation. These rulebooks are crafted from regulatory bulletins, acts, documents, settlements, and industry standards from a wide variety of federal and state regulators. PerformLine’s technology also allows financial institutions to customize their rules to monitor their own specific branding guidelines.
What are some of the biggest challenges your solutions solve for your clients?
Alex Baydin: PerformLine makes compliance scalable for our clients. With so many different ways a brand can be mentioned across the web and social media, and with countless numbers of agents, partners, employees, and other third parties representing a brand, it’s impossible to manually monitor for compliance. With automation, PerformLine monitors everywhere our clients’ brand appears and flags only those that could potentially have compliance violations for review and remediation attention. Not only does PerformLine automate the monitoring of known brand placements, but we also discover unknown mentions of our clients’ brand(s), mitigating risk tenfold.
We also solve the critical challenge of remediation. PerformLine’s workflow makes remediation easy using a centralized interface, where all compliance can be monitored, tracked, and viewed by any department, increasing the efficiency of an organization. If potentially non-compliant copy or offer terms are found on a partner’s website, for example, the page is flagged within the PerformLine system where a user can email the finding to internal and external recipients to request remediation. The staff or partner can take immediate action, and a confirmation of the non-compliant item being resolved creates a real-time audit trail for enterprises.
We take the guesswork out of interpreting ambiguous regulations and consumer protection laws. Our rulebooks, built on expertise and experience, are ready-to-use and are unique to each industry, but are still 100% customizable to each client’s individual needs. We are constantly updating and expanding our rulebooks to reflect current happenings in the regulatory environment. In 2020, we launched new rulebooks to help monitor for compliance with critical regulations, including COVID-19, the CARES Act and Regulation X/verbal loss mitigation, and bias and racial discrimination.
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?
Alex Baydin: A small business lender started out with nearly 100,000 calls a month and their in-house QA team was able to review only about 10 to 15 calls per agent. After deploying PerformLine, the lender was able to monitor nine times more calls per agent, plus they were able to view a broader scope of data (including compliance and performance data) and provide faster feedback. With the increased efficiencies, they were able to provide 92% of the agents with feedback, compared to the 40% previously provided, and in turn, they increased the agent average compliance and performance score by over 20%.
How would you describe the differences between your offering from others in your RegTech category?
Alex Baydin: PerformLine stands out from the competition in a few ways. First, we are the only compliance solution that provides coverage across multiple channels from one platform. Second, we make implementation easy with our extensive collection of ready-to-use rulebooks that cover regulations for any industry (like I mentioned above). Third, beyond our team of client success experts who are solely dedicated to each client’s program, we also offer additional expert review services to help financial institutions get extra bandwidth without requiring additional headcount. Our team of QA analysts is there to help review every observation and deliver only curated and actionable alerts in workflow for remediation.
What advice would you give to decision-makers when choosing a RegTech solution such as the ones you offer?
Alex Baydin: My advice would be to first, consider the service you’ll get—is it going to be more self-serve, which puts more pressure on you (the buyer), or will you get a whole team of experts to help support your efforts? And second, think about whether or not you are going to need more than one solution to cover all of your different marketing and sales channels. How will you integrate those separate platforms and the information to get the complete data picture you need for your compliance program to provide one consistent set of data and reporting.
Due to the global pandemic, a lot has changed in the world in the last year. How has your company changed in the last 12 months?
Alex Baydin: We’ve dedicated more resources to help our clients navigate the turbulent regulatory landscape as a result of the pandemic—created new rulebooks to navigate the evolving regulations, offered additional login credentials to dispersed clients compliance teams, made our API available to integrate data to other platforms needed by clients, and made our client success managers available for additional clients needs.
Can you tell us about some of your most recent achievements or milestones you’ve reached?
Alex Baydin: We recently announced the public launch of Document Review, further establishing PerformLine as a best-in-class solution to meet enterprise pre-production and live monitoring compliance needs.
The review and approval of documents (such as direct mailers, blog posts, and sales sheets) to ensure compliance with hundreds of regulations has been one of the most time-consuming tasks compliance and content controls teams undertake, typically causing bottlenecks and delays in getting materials to market quickly.
Now, with the launch of Document Review, the PerformLine platform can ingest and score a document against any number of rulebooks (federal, state, industry, or specific brand guidelines) to provide consistent, fast, and accurate compliance verdicts in minutes, allowing approved documents to move ahead quickly while rooting out those that failed for further inspection.
Document Review has been used by several PerformLine clients in private beta since early 2020 to increase the output of compliance review to meet the increasing demands of their marketing teams.
The PerformLine omni-channel technology now provides end-to-end sales and marketing compliance, from pre-production verdicts with document review to live monitoring across the web, calls, messaging, emails, and on social media.
What drives you as a company? What is PerformLine’s long-term vision?
Alex Baydin: We’re driven to help our clients who are continually looking to transform their compliance practices to better protect their consumers and their own brand, at the same time. We all know compliance is the protection needed for a company to grow and thrive. But, to do that, you need the right people and the right technology to keep up with the speed of business today.
At PerformLine, our technology is built to help compliance teams scale their programs to protect their brands by mitigating risk in their marketing and sales channels while gaining efficiency through automation. Our vision continues to focus solely on compliance practices that help our clients mitigate risk, save money, and protect their brand and their consumers.
What are some of the important developments you are seeing in the RegTech industry?
Alex Baydin: Regulators are increasingly understanding the value of automation and technology while citing outdated software and processes as a detriment to financial institutions being able to move forward. FDIC Chair Jelena McWilliams recently said, “banks’ reliance on outdated legacy systems was her “No. 1” longstanding concern for the sector. Anything we can do to improve resilience in our system would be good, and I think technology is something that we need to be open to there.” There will be an ongoing push by regulators to have financial institutions update and implement new softwares, especially when it comes to compliance technology to better protect the organization and their consumers.
What’s next for PerformLine?
Alex Baydin: PerformLine continues to focus on our omni-channel approach, to ensure that our compliance tools are moving in sync with where our clients are connecting with consumers. Those channels continue to expand and develop, and PerformLine will be right there as well. We plan to continue our investments in technology to increase discovery capabilities and the power of our rulebooks with the continued use of machine learning and artificial intelligence.
What do you think is the biggest missed opportunity for organizations today when it comes to compliance?
Alex Baydin: Proactive collaboration. Let’s face it, the companies we work with want to do everything they can to be compliant, treat consumers in the fairest way possible, and make their products or services work best for their customers. But sometimes, if the collaboration isn’t there between departments, potential issues can be missed. When using a compliance technology like ours that helps both the marketing and sales teams move their materials faster through the compliance and content controls protocols, it’s a win-win for all. Collaboration between those departments is critical to ensure complaint materials go out the door and proactive monitoring in the marketplace helps ensure they stay compliant when distributed by agents, partners, or reps across the thousands of ways and places they can be shared.
What’s the best way for potential clients or investors to get in touch with you?