Welcome to Transactions 2020, the event that brings together the top minds in the digitization, payment and banking industry. This is a series of interviews with this year’s Transactions 2020 sponsors – who believe in us and support us in these crazy Corona times.
The number of cases is skyrocketing everywhere, the situation is serious. However, our events live from exchange and in recent months we have learned that many things can also take place virtually. Nevertheless, we feel that personal exchange on site is important and in order to do justice to both, we have decided to turn Transactions 20 into two events.
Nov 20 & Feb 21: Two Parts
The first part will take place as „Berliner Runde“ as planned on 19.11.20. A completely virtual event with two keynotes by Sascha Lobo and Verena Pausder, who will share their vision for a digital Germany and how Covid-19 is shaping our industry. We have also invited the man who contributed significantly to the Wirecard case and who made Wirecard the topic of 2020 in the industry: Dan McCrum. He talks to us about the revelations in the Wirecard scandal. Afterwards there will be a discussion round. Everything in the live stream to shorten your waiting time until the „real“ transactions. The Transactions 20,5 as second event in February.
Transactions 20.5 will take place on February 25th, 2021 as a hybrid event, i.e. in stream and (hopefully) as a face-to-face event, as originally planned, in Offenbach in the old steel building. Of course we hope that the situation will have relaxed by then and that as many guests as possible will be able to attend not only in the stream but also on site.
Every ticket purchased is valid on both 19.11.2020 and 25.02.2021. One ticket for two events. So if you have a ticket, you can be present at both events.
The event in February 2021 will once again bring together the most important minds in the digitization, payment and banking industry. In addition to the many great participants, an event is always only as good as its speakers on stage. The Transactions is one of the few interdisciplinary conferences in the DACH region that offers a stage for lateral thinkers from various industries on the topic of „digital structural change“. Once again, we look forward to national and international stars from the digital business, who will give an outlook on the most important trends in the industry.
Who these wonderful companies are, which support the #TRX20,5 significantly, you will read, despite the postponement, in our interview series in the next weeks. Today we start with the 360kompanyAG
Who or what is kompany? What does your company stand for?
kompany is the leading RegTech platform for Global Business Verification and Business KYC (KYB), providing real-time, audit-proof and legally binding company information and documentation directly from the registers themselves. Clients include international and regional banking groups, FinTechs, Big Four accounting firms, law firms, BaaS and compliance platforms, as well as multinational corporations. We believe that regulatory compliance doesn’t have to be painful, but rather, a smooth, automated experience where the world’s primary source data is accessible to those who need it quickly and cost-effectively.
What does kompany have in common with the topic of Transactions?/ What does kompany associate with the topic of Transactions?
We offer solutions to help organisations meet their regulatory requirements with special attention to the European Union’s AMLD 4, 5 and upcoming 6th directive. Many of our clients are financial institutions who rely on us to facilitate their digital onboarding processes and verify their clients’ identities. The business verification services we provide are not only essential for entities looking to reduce their regulatory risk and ensure full AML compliance, but current and future transactions become significantly more secure as the screening of new and existing customers is based on real-time, audit proof data from government registers
around the world. For our clients, knowing who you’re doing business with is built on a foundation of truth from the first stage of onboarding to the management of the relationship long into the future.
The topic of exchange and networking was hardly possible this year – how important are events like Transactions 20 for the industry?
With so much knowledge in our industry and so much room for continued innovation, it’s important to ensure that progress across the payment and banking sectors does not slow down, despite disruptions to our traditional knowledge sharing channels.
As the pandemic has drastically impacted our shared industries, it has never been more important to come together to exchange ideas and insights into the ways we can adapt to overcome challenges posed by the restrictions we’ve faced this past year.
At Transactions 20, established players, fintech start-ups and players from related industries will again speak about the future of finance. What were the most important topics from the Payment & Banking world for you in 2020?
This year was a busy one for the payment and banking world, but several topics stick out to us as among the most attention worthy. In particular, blockchain technology is on its way to mainstream adoption by major institutions. The use of distributed ledger technology is well underway to play a part of financial institutions’ own infrastructure in the future and we’re proud to be at the forefront of this advancement with our own blockchain powered solution, KYC onchain. The adoption of solutions like ours ultimately offers a reduction in fraud, a securer and significantly faster payment processing experience.
At kompany, we also expect to see the continued expansion of digital payment options across different platforms and the subsequent impact on traditional payment providers who will be forced to modernize and adapt to the evolving landscape. It will be critical for incumbents to adopt technology that can easily integrate into their pre-existing systems while allowing them to keep up with the emerging competitors and meet their regulatory requirements.
Certainly the events of 2020 have offered the best argument for embracing digital solutions now.
Experience has shown that you meet even fewer women in the industry than in other digital industries. How diverse are you at kompany and how do you feel about odds?
Currently women make up more than 40% of our global team, including at the executive level and within traditionally male dominated spaces such as IT & Development. Our Product team is majority women. We are confident for the future of gender inclusivity in the space as trends indicate diversity is of growing importance to tech firms of all sizes and specialties. It’s been our experience that the most impactful innovations are developed in an environment that more accurately reflects the world around us.
How does your company cope with the current developments in the corona crisis? Have you had new processes since then?
As the foundation of our business was built with a digital-first approach, we’ve been privileged to enjoy a smooth transition to a fully virtual working environment. When the pandemic first began in the earlier part of 2020, we began experiencing an increased demand for our digital solutions as regulated industries were forced to quickly adapt to stay-at-home orders while continuing their normal compliance operations. In the United Kingdom, we introduced a limited time offer for Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) lenders and health sector procurement teams who needed to verify PPE suppliers and loan applicants quickly and reliably.
We also formed a partnership with other Fintech partners to advocate for SMEs struggling to access CBILS funding in the midst of the pandemic and help speed up the disbursement of financial support. Our partners in these efforts include Swoop, Shieldpay and moneyhub.
Fintech is developing quickly and dynamically. In your opinion, what has changed over the past year? What were the most important developments?
There continues to be a major shift in the banking industry’s willingness to integrate new technology into their core systems and we’re now also seeing interest from regulators to cooperate with FinTechs and RegTechs to tackle common goals together. FinTechs have also experienced a reckoning of sorts with stricter regulatory requirements revealing critical vulnerabilities in their disruptive approach to the payments and banking sector.
„FinTechs have experienced a reckoning of sorts with stricter regulatory requirements.“
This has made an even stronger case for the business verification and compliance solutions that RegTechs like kompany have developed. The role of regulatory technology will become an increasingly important companion to FinTechs in the future.
It is also important to mention that the use of artificial intelligence and blockchain based solutions are being trialled and adopted by major institutions to accomplish many of their required tasks. For example, within our own organisation we have built a tool that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning technology to transform unstructured data into a usable structured format with 95% accuracy. Entities required to identify ultimate beneficial owners as part of their AML requirements, use this solution to replace their traditionally manual shareholder identification methods to quickly and easily gather the audit-proof company records they need to remain compliant and also protect their revenue streams from otherwise unsavory clients.
In retrospect: Which topic, from your perspective, has been the biggest hype or the biggest disappointment in the scene in recent years?
In general, those of us whose work touches the payments and banking sector have seen a fairly slow adoption of very efficient technology services until recently. For instance, the use of blockchain’s distributed ledger has been largely trapped in a hype cycle until recently. We are now experiencing a positive change in attitude as large institutions like Amazon and Walmart have begun adopting the technology and demonstrating its potential beyond its cryptocurrency origins.
To what extent can and do you want to help shape the banking industry with your company?
Customers across three continents and more than 100 countries already rely on kompany’s business verification solutions to fulfil and exceed their compliance requirements. From payment providers needing to conduct merchant onboarding and verification to highly regulated global corporations, countless organizations are currently relying on kompany to streamline their Business KYC processes while simultaneously reducing costs and mitigating their exposure to non-compliance risks.
With kompany, compliance teams in the payment and banking sector will never need to question whether the data they are relying on is outdated and potentially inaccurate. Thanks to our real-time global register network, we can provide access to business data on more than 110 million companies across 200 jurisdictions around the world. This data comes with the highest possible veracity, as it’s retrieved straight from its primary source. We are proud to introduce a new era of audit-proof business data to the industries who need it most.
What does innovation mean to you?
At kompany, we define innovation as the quick transformation of the status quo into its next evolutionary phase. If it’s innovative it has to work not only faster, but more intelligently to serve the end client and the organisations that are impacted along the way.
A better future for transactions will be built on the back of automation and efficient access to primary source information and it’s what we’ve built our business on.
What do you think the industry can expect in 2021? Where does the industry have to develop?
We believe that we’ll see more incumbents (traditional brick-and-mortar financial institutions) adopting and collaborating with FinTechs and RegTechs, with the industry at large evolving into more of a partnership play experience. We should anticipate a certain amount of consolidation amongst smaller tech players in the FinTech and RegTech space joining together to provide more comprehensive solutions.
The industry should also expect to see regulators turning more and more to technology to gather and analyse the data of institutions in the hope of monitoring more effectively and acting on potential problems before they happen, as opposed to their traditionally reactive approach.