Transforming customer onboarding for an international cross-border payments provider with a flexible, risk-based approach

About our Client

Our client is an international fintech company that specialises in the facilitation of cross-border payments for emerging global markets. The company was founded in 2016 with the single-minded aim of closing the payments gap that exists between developed and emerging economies.

By combining technological skills with expertise in emerging markets localisation, our client has been able to unlock new revenues and maximise its reach in every market that it operates in.

Today, that vision has resulted in a payment coverage that includes high-growth, emerging economies across Latin America, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East, and North Africa.

Our client is proud of its multicultural team that is located in offices across four continents, as well as having boots on the ground in every country where it processes payments.

The Challenge

In the six years since it was established, the company has grown exponentially. This has been a result of its growth within existing markets and by entering new geographical markets and growing its presence there.

But while this rapid global expansion was planned and welcomed by all stakeholders, it raised a number of challenges, especially with regard to onboarding new customers.

Operating internationally across multiple distinct jurisdictions in the field of payments presents different levels of risk when it comes to onboarding. The know your customer (KYC) requirements not only differ greatly depending on the country, but also if payments cross international borders.

As a result, every single new customer must be assessed with a risk-based approach on a range of different factors before they can be onboarded. This is an absolute imperative if the company is to meet the statutory anti-money laundering (AML) requirements and regulations in every jurisdiction that it operates in.

Our client realised that there was an urgent requirement to update and automate their existing processes, so that they were fully equipped to onboard the many different types of customers they were now presented with.

Furthermore, with an eye on the future, our client needed to be in a position to immediately assess the risk for any new markets that they might enter.

To add to the challenge, our client has several hundred staff members operating across their global operations, so they urgently required a solution that could be accessible by all stakeholders, regardless of their geographical location.

The Solution

After exploring the many options available to them, our client found the solution they were looking for in RiskScreen OnBoard. The flexibility of this intelligent solution was one of the key factors that attracted them and helped them to realise the value of a multi-layered approach to risk.

As part of the analysis and design stage, the RiskScreen team worked alongside key members of the compliance team in order to create seven distinct ‘journeys’ to cover the onboarding types they most commonly encountered.

Each of these journeys now incorporates a unique series of questions that all potential customers are required to answer. As a direct result, every single application now contains all the key pieces of information needed, so that they can be quickly uploaded into RiskScreen OnBoard in order to be assessed for risk.

Launching with a single highest risk model, our client was immediately able to identify potential risk simply by identifying the single highest value to be used as the overriding risk assessment value.

This was shortly followed by the introduction of a weighted risk model, which applies a weighting to each question depending on an assessment of potential risk. This model delivers an overall total which can be adjusted depending on the risk appetite at any given time.

In both scenarios, the identification of a potentially high-risk customer automatically puts the application on a high-risk pathway. From here it is flagged as requiring additional investigation and possible escalation to a supervisor or senior manager, before a customer can be given the all clear or rejected if the risk is determined to be too high.

Most importantly, both models provide all members of staff with exactly the same set of procedures, ensuring that no high-risk customers fall through the gaps due to variations in regional information gathering.

Finally, the challenge of enabling all users working in different geographical locations to access the system was solved by RiskScreen OnBoard’s ability to synchronise seamlessly with Microsoft Azure Active Directory.

As a result, now every user can quickly and easily access the platform using a secure, single source of truth, regardless of where they are located.

The Results

With RiskScreen OnBoard in place, our client now has a comprehensive onboarding solution with real-time customer verification that is ready to meet both present and future challenges.

The fact that the solution is configurable to their unique business needs, this intelligent platform has presented our client with a tailored risk-based approach to onboarding, while providing a best-in-class automated solution.

RiskScreen OnBoard not only solved all of the issues that our client brought to the table, it also delivered a streamlined and efficient process fit for future growth.

The ability to view time-stamped actions for each individual case (e.g., whether an onboarding journey has been approved or rejected) now enables the process flow between the different user groups to operate seamlessly.

The level of risk across the entire business is now fully catalogued and visible to all authorised personnel, so it can be used to show any regulatory bodies that our client is taking all the necessary steps to screen for potential risk.

And as the platform has been designed to be intuitive and easy to use from the very first day, our client is not only reducing risk, but also the delay in detecting concerns when they do arise.

To add to its appeal, this leading-edge solution does away with the complexity of having to manage multiple processes by delivering a single package, from a single supplier, and all under a single licence.

What’s more, the comprehensive training and support provided has enabled the business’ compliance team to reap the many benefits of a fully self-service instance of RiskScreen OnBoard.

From the initial stages of analysis and design, right through to user acceptance testing (UAT) and the final go live, our client was fully involved at every stage.

As a result, we were able to provide key members of staff with an in-depth understanding of the entire configuration process. This means they are now confident in their ability to create, revise, and administer their own onboarding journeys.

In addition, when updates and new feature modules are released for the platform, further training and support is provided, so our client can fully utilise the new features and subsequently make future changes by themselves.

The end result is that RiskScreen OnBoard has empowered our client to take control of the entire process and seamlessly onboard more customers, much faster, and with full visibility of every stage of their journey.

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