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50 Innovative Companies to Watch 2019

An Interview with Stephen Platt, KYC Global Technologies Founder and CEO: ‘We Understand the Evolving Nature of Economic Crime Risks and We Adapt Our Technologies to Combat Them’

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“KYC360 is a collaborative membership of over 30,000 AML professionals which informs and shapes the design specification of our technology solutions.”

The financial services industry is seeing a flurry of innovation and increased competition due to the application of new technology in the sector. Financial institutions are applying new technologies such as cloud computing, blockchain, machine learning, APIs and innovations in cryptography to reduce costs and friction, enhance security and enable new products and services.

In light of the foregoing, we’re thrilled to present KYC Global Technologies.

KYC Global develops and delivers highly innovative RegTech AML software solutions specifically targeted at the management of fin crime risk and the enhancement of risk governance performance. The design specification of the technologies is influenced by KYC360 a collaborative membership of over 30,000 AML professionals.

Over 700 businesses, regulators and law enforcement agencies across the world use KYC’s technologies to combat financial crime.

The company was incorporated in 2016 and is headquartered in London. It has additional office locations in Tokyo and Jersey.

Stephen Platt, KYC Global Technologies Founder/CEO, spoke exclusively to The Silicon Review. Below is an excerpt.

Why was the company set up?

The company was set up to combine leading AML expertise with data science to design and produce the world’s best AML screening and lifecycle risk management technologies.

How successful was your first project roll on?

Our first project was very successful. Within 2.5 years, we now have over 600 financial institutions utilising our technologies.

What kind of responses have you received from your consumers over the years? How have they motivated you to shape your offerings/grow the company?

KYC360 is a collaborative membership of over 30,000 AML professionals which informs and shapes the design specification of our technology solutions. Direct feedback from customers has also helped in the design of our 3D risk-based Overnight Batch screening technology which reduced false positive matches by up to 95 percent compared to legacy screening solutions.

What are the products your company offer?

We offer a multitude of products such as:

RiskScreen – A next-generation AML customer on-boarding and Batch screening solution with the world’s first 3D Risk-based technology reducing false positives by upto 95 percent compared with legacy screening solutions.

Panoptic– A next-generation customer lifecycle risk management platform enabling data aggregation and advanced real-time analytics.

KYC360– A premium online AML Knowledge Platform utilised by financial crime prevention professionals from the financial services industry, law enforcement, and regulators. It operates at the forefront of the global fight against financial crime and is committed to driving principled performance in the financial services industry by increasing employee engagement with license critical areas of risk management.

How do you stay relevant to the consumer interests and needs in this highly volatile market?

We stay relevant to the consumer interests by maintaining our subject matter expertise. We understand the evolving nature of economic crime risks and we adapt our technologies to combat them. AML failure has never been so expensive.

How often do you innovate? Is it only when there is a need in the market?

No. Innovation is in our DNA. We have comprehensive development route maps for all of our technologies which we constantly adapt in response to feedback and our knowledge of how economic crime risk is changing.

What are the factors that make your brand most innovative, and why?

We benefit from tracking innovations in economic crime – as abuses of financial services evolve so do our technologies. It’s strange to admit that our company is ‘guided’ by criminals but in one sense that’s true! We have been very successful at disrupting legacy screening providers that have rested on their laurels and we are determined not to make the same mistakes they have. KYC360, a collaborative membership of over 30,000 AML professionals, which we fund and run, keeps us at the cutting edge of economic crime prevention, as mentioned above.

Fostering a culture of feedback is crucial to the success of every organization. How is this true with your company?

We actively encourage and employ internal and external feedback mechanisms. The biggest obstacle to the right feedback culture is human factors. Everybody must realise that the world’s best communicators are the best listeners.

Moreover, we try and instill a culture of impact. Some of the best ideas both for innovations and internal organisation have come from some of the most junior members of our team. Steep authority gradients are a barrier to progress. Everybody is important, their opinions matter, and crucially we make it clear that a failure is an option. Every attempt to innovate which doesn’t quite work is a learning opportunity.

I am considering setting up a shadow board made up of some of our more junior staff.

How do you maintain your customers’ trust and loyalty?

We maintain our customers’ trust by being uncompromising in our approach to training our staff in customer service and inculcating a ‘customer first’ culture. Our tech is mission critical for our customers – AML failure is not an option – so we have to deliver tech that works and is supported to the highest standards. We get very positive feedback on our customer service standards. The challenge is to maintain them.

Do you have any new products ready to be launched?

Yes. Having successfully launched RiskScreen on Salesforce we are also planning to launch Panoptic during the next 12 months. Panoptic is our lifecycle risk management technology platform.

As a question on sustainability, where do you see your company a couple of years from now?

We do regard the environment as a key stakeholder in what we do; therefore, we try to factor that into all the decisions we make. I worry though given the rate of global warming that we have to redouble our efforts and commit to initiatives such as Cradle to Cradle and reducing the number of international flights we take.

That said, we seek to stay at the forefront of fighting economic crimes.

Stephen Platt: A Formidable Leader

Stephen Platt is one of the world’s leading AML experts and a RegTech pioneer. He’s the original founder of the International Compliance Association and author of the ICA Diplomas in Money Laundering Prevention and Compliance. Also, Mr Platt is the author of #1 best-selling book ‘Criminal Capital’.

Most importantly, he’s the original founder of KYC360, the world’s leading AML knowledge platform used by over 50,000 AML professionals across over 80 jurisdictions.

Mr Platt is a Barrister and Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgetown University.

“We have comprehensive development route maps for all of our technologies which we constantly adapt in response to feedback and our knowledge of how economic crime risk is changing.”