Following is an interview between Insights Success and Damian Mifsud, the CEO at KnowMeNow, a company which is committed to addressing problems pertaining to KYC, AML and FCT; and leveraging the power of the blockchain to deliver more efficient, more secure and more reliable methods of verifying and sharing data.
Further in the interview, Damian shares his views and opinions regarding the current landscape of the industry how KnowMeNow is efficiently contributing towards its development.
Below are the highlights of the interview:
Give a brief overview of the company, its solutions and services?
KnowMeNow is a division of QGen. QGen and KnowMeNow are global KYB (Know Your customer’s Business) and KYC (Know Your Customer) service providers that can support any industry sector, such as payment and e-commerce service providers, banks, fintech, investment firms, iGaming and crypto exchanges/wallets.
Operating since 2006, QGen is a veteran outsourced KYB and KYC service provider partner that leverages technology with human oversight to provide KYB and KYC solutions to enterprise, including white label solutions supported by a 24/7 multi-lingual compliance agent team, for a large portfolio of merchants.
KnowMeNow is a simple, secure and reusable KYC solution that provides frictionless onboarding for users and merchants using a decentralized digital identity app to revolutionise the way KYC procedures are run today.
How do you diversify your KYC solutions in ways that would benefit your users or clients?
This world class industry pioneer KYC mobile app solution was developed to address the massive growth in mobile based e-commerce services as well as consumer privacy concerns by leveraging the implicit security of the blockchain. KnowMeNow’s mobile based KYC solution provides users with a simple reusable tool for KYC verification, and serves merchants with a seamless and frictionless onboarding solution that can also be easily integrated into their own merchant processes or automated systems.
While it is possible to work with other IDV (ID Validation) service providers on merchant-specific projects, KnowMeNow is underpinned by QGen’s multi-jurisdiction, multi-lingual IDV and AML (Anti-Money Laundering) agent team that oversee the whole operational side of things and can also support merchants with in-app support for their programs.
With onboarding delays on the rise as more rules are added to the KYC regulations, businesses, are losing more than half of potentially new clients during the registration process alone. KnowMeNow automatically enhances customer relationships from an early stage, leading to greater customer satisfaction and an increase in customer acquisition. Users can easily upload KYC documents, have them verified in minutes and are ready to instantly share these details with merchant businesses. Our reusable KYC solution means your consumers are already verified when they register for your services, reducing onboarding friction and lowering acquisition costs. Moreover, seamless integration provided by our team helps the digital product offering manager to eliminate any tech compatibility headaches.
Describe the experiences, achievements or lessons learnt that have shaped the journey of the company.
We set out to be the first blockchain-based digital identity wallet and give back control on personal data to the consumer. We are learning a lot from our merchant-customer interactions and think we have come up with the magic bullet to solve the post customer-acquisition headaches of managing consumers or subscribers during their entire lifecycle in a regulated environment. We have been heavily engaged with affiliates and have learnt a lot about their customer journey requirements. What’s more we are also talking to financial institution user groups and learning more about their requirements daily. A major stress for compliance officers is the need to periodically review KYC records, including verifying that due diligence has been performed and that regulations are complied with. KnowMeNow takes away this headache and automates this job for compliance.
How does KnowMeNow contribute towards assisting developments in the KYC and FinTech sphere?
When engaging with such merchant-customers, we have been asking hard questions of ourselves and our merchant-customers to identify issues in customer onboarding and compliance workflows to marry regulatory needs with marketing and customer onboarding needs. QGen’s many years of experience are invoked to support such projects. One thing that emerged from QGen’s engagements that we have learnt from was the difficulty most merchants face in collecting the necessary information and documentation from their customers and keeping it up to date. While addressing customer consent for release of information and fundamental data ownership, KnowMeNow has also been designed to address needs at regulated merchants, platforms or exchanges as well as any other institutions that wish to be in a state of readiness for eventual compliance needs.
Considering the evolving market of KYC solution providers, how does your company sustain its competency in the global landscape?
We stay abreast of the regulatory compliance needs of several blue-chip customers that cover multiple jurisdictions, and in so doing transpose that knowledge to and embed it in the KnowMeNow mobile app. We also keep a close eye on regional developments. Open Banking is one such development that provides for possibilities that we are very keen to exploit.
Where do you see KnowMeNow in the long run and/or what are its future goals?
We see ourselves as becoming a key player in the regtech sector. Our goal is to make subscribing to a regulated service a more pleasant experience for merchant and consumer alike. We are focused on improved customer journeys for our customers’ customers and protecting our clients from AML breaches.
Our KnowMeNow vision is to provide a simple, secure and reusable KYC solution that provides frictionless onboarding for users and merchants using a decentralized digital identity app to revolutionise the way KYC procedures are run today. In a world of frequent data security breaches we are focused on bringing increased data security for our customers to allow them to be more in control of their own data.
Give us a few testimonials of your clients that accurately highlight your organization’s position in the market.
Our customer list is confidential but here are a few anonymized case studies:
A well-known Merchant POS Operations firm that services world-leading banks uses our services to compile KYC and KYB documentation including regular multi-data source PEP/Sanctions/Adverse media offerings on ultimate beneficiary owners (UBOs) and persons of significant control (PSCs).
A world-leading digital wallet service provider uses our services for identity document validations, corporate identity validations, as well as UBOs and authorized representatives.
Gaming affiliate companies use our services to enhance gaming customer onboarding with the value-add of pre-validated accounts.
Investment firms use our services to compile dossiers on investors including company organograms, calculations of PSC and UBO shareholdings to determine control and apply necessary Enhanced Due Diligence (EDD).
About Damian Mifsud
Damian has a strong background in in the card payments industry, having worked in the UK, Ireland, Belgium and Malta for a variety of organisations Barclays Merchant Services, First Data Merchant Services (Omnipay), MBNA/Bank of America and MasterCard.
Since moving back to Malta, Damian has established QGen Limited an award-winning KYC and KYB provider, and also with co-founder Godwin Schembri set up KnowMeNow which is a world first pure blockchain KYC solution. QGen and KnowMeNow have carved an important place in providing financial service providers with business services that support their regulatory compliance.