The Business Spotlight on… encompass

The Business Spotlight: The section where we look at the companies active in the sectors we cover, tell their stories and introduce their solutions to show you what they’ve got and who they are. Today with…

  1. What can you tell us about your company and your products & services?

Know Your Customer (KYC) regulation is evolving and so are the costs and impact on the financial industry globally.

Our intelligent process automation platform for KYC dramatically improves the client experience, due to the significantly faster KYC processing our platform provides. This, in turn, reduces the cost of operating teams of analysts, and our AI and intelligent algorithms reduce the human error rates, too. This clearly improves the quality of KYC and provides a consistent approach along with policy adherence, no matter where teams are based.

We do this by automating the gathering, processing and collation of primary and premium information and news discovery for KYC requirements, be that for new to business, event-driven refresh, or remediation.

We import into the platform our customers’ internal policies and tasks and through their choice of reliable, independent sources, encompass constructs corporate ownership, discovers beneficial owners, and comprehensively screens entities and persons for risk, be that across structured watchlist data sets or unstructured adverse media sources.

Our advanced intelligent process automation builds a comprehensive KYC profile from multiple sources, including corporate registries, company and regulatory data, adverse media and identity verification. This means we are able to facilitate fast, confident decisions, enabling analysts to analyse rather than research and collate.

Incorporating leading biometric and electronic identity verification sources, encompass delivers a single platform to manage every type of client – from large corporations through to small and medium sized enterprises and even individuals.

  1. Who came you up with the idea and what drives you?

Following the successful exit from a big data visualisation software firm, our co-founders, Roger Carson and Wayne Johnson, became investors.

One of those investments proved costly for them, as they directly became victims of international financial crime. Information on the parties involved that would have flagged this risk was available at the time but inefficient, manual processes meant that it was overlooked.

It was this experience combined with their knowledge on big data visualisation, that inspired them to set up encompass, with the mission of enabling firms to comprehensively detect and prevent financial crime and reduce regulatory risk, which is what we now do for over 80 firms globally each day who use our platform.

We believe the best decisions are made when people understand the full picture, fast, and it is this insight that we strive to give our clients.

Full: all the information you need, global coverage across your complete client book

Picture: easy to understand format reveals ultimate beneficial ownership and relevant associations

Fast: instant results through automated policy execution, monitoring and risk rating

3.What is it that makes your company different from others?

We believe that there are a number of firms out there that can provide a single use case that might compete with modules within our platform. For example, watchlist screening, where there are many firms that provide quality screening tools. To a lesser extent, for AI driven adverse media, also a module on our platform, where there are realistically a handful of firms in the marketplace with similar capabilities. What makes us truly unique is combining these core functions into a single platform, whilst applying them to an entity that we have automatically unwrapped their corporate structure and simultaneously calculated and highlighted the Ultimate Beneficial Owner (UBO) for screening.

We also have a very cool, but very driven, vibe and culture in everything we do. For example, we utilise 3rd party apps to automate our processes internally wherever possible, and our core operational structures are more akin to a silicon valley startup. We use the Squad/Tribe/Chapter methodology in our dev teams to keep us super agile to support our rapidly expanding client base.

There are many features that ensure encompass stands out as we work to help firms respond to the global KYC challenge, including:

  • The use of intelligent process automation to automatically build out corporate structures, identify beneficial ownership and screen and monitor for risk.
  • A single end to end SaaS platform to manage the client’s complete KYC policy which gives our customers flexibility required to integrate with the existing technology they use.
  • We typically deliver an 80% reduction in the time taken to gather and analyse information required for a comprehensive KYC programme.
  • Our global data coverage, which spans 120+ sources covering 200+ jurisdictions, including corporate registers, premium company data, PEPs and sanctions and electronic ID verification which increases in number daily.

No matter how many customers we are servicing, enhanced risk assessment, monitoring and remediation can be achieved on a suitable scale through automation using encompass.

  1. Where are you based?

We have offices in London, Glasgow, Sydney, Singapore and Hong Kong.

  1. When was the company launched?

encompass launched in Australia in 2012, and in the UK three years later.

  1. What traction have you made? Can you tell us about your biggest achievements so far?

2018: encompass was highly commended in the RegTech category for AI & Machine Learning at the first Regulation Asia Awards for Excellence.
2018: encompass opened offices in Hong Kong to drive sales, distribution and data partnerships across APAC region.
2018: encompass recorded a customer growth of 165%.
2018: encompass expanded data coverage, now having more than 120 data
partners covering 200+ countries across Europe, the Americas, Asia, Africa, as well as Oceania and Australia.
2019: encompass recorded a customer growth of 345%.
2019: encompass was named as a winner of Red Herring’s Top 100 Europe Award for 2019
2019: encompass now serves over 80 clients globally, including some of the world’s top banks, legal, accounting, payments and krypto firms.
2019: IHS Markit chooses encompass to power their KYC as a service platform
2019: encompass partnered with many new partners in 2019, including Bisnode, Europe’s leading provider of data and analytics, to deliver information and customer onboarding services to financial institutions in the Nordic region.

  1. What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs and start-ups?

In order to be successful and remain relevant to, as well as trusted by, your audience, you need to show an understanding of customer needs. It is also imperative to define the scope of what you can offer against what clients require and help them get to the end product and reap the benefits in the most efficient way possible. The best way to do this it so hire key personnel across the business from the industries your are looking to sell to, that way, you will deeply understand the problem you are trying to solve.

It is key to remember that, while your solution might cost only 10% of the overall project associated with the implementation, the rest of your resource and effort will be devoted to dealing with the impact on the system and the implications of your implementation. You must be prepared at all times and for all stages.

  1. What can you tell us about your team?

encompass is led by Wayne and Roger, as founders, and they are supported by an experienced and passionate executive team that guides our employees around the globe. We have more than 80 employees across our sites who work in areas such as Product, Marketing and Customer Success. Each of the skilled and experienced members of our team are vital to our success, ensuring the best and most competitive service is offered to our customers and excellence is achieved at all times.

Across our cohort of staff, we have a number of individuals who have come to us with a wealth of experience and insight of the banking and financial industries. Their practical knowledge and level of understanding of how these companies work puts us at a real advantage and is invaluable to our daily operation as we strive to remain competitive and relevant to our customers.

  1. What’s next for your company?

Now, more than ever, there is an increased focus on Anti-Money Laundering (AML) enforcement, with regulations increasing and becoming more complex in an attempt to combat growing incidences of financial crime.

For this to be achieved, it is imperative that compliance is seen as best practice, not just a ‘check the box’ exercise. Automation is the only way to drive both better compliance and simultaneously lower costs to customers.

This is where the services and expertise encompass offers are crucial, and the need for our products and insight will only increase as the landscape changes and grows. We are determined to continue to progress, while remaining at the forefront of the industry and supplying technology that allows firms to comprehensively detect and prevent financial crime and reduce regulatory risk.

  1. How do potential customers and investors get in touch with you?

We can be contacted in the following ways: Call 0333 772 0002 or email

“The Business Spotlight on…” is the section at PlanetCompliance that looks at the companies active in the sectors we cover, tells their stories and introduces the solutions to give them a platform to show what they’ve got and who they are. If you want to know more about how you can get featured in this section, contact us at launch@planetcompliance.comor on Twitter at @PlanetComplianc

Lavanya Rathnam

Lavanya Rathnam is an experienced technology, finance, and compliance writer. She combines her keen understanding of regulatory frameworks and industry best practices with exemplary writing skills to communicate complex concepts of Governance, Risk, and Compliance (GRC) in clear and accessible language. Lavanya specializes in creating informative and engaging content that educates and empowers readers to make informed decisions. She also works with different companies in the Web 3.0, blockchain, fintech, and EV industries to assess their products’ compliance with evolving regulations and standards.

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