Contego is an Oxford based company which provides real time risk data to banks, property companies, retailers and others through its Know Your Customer (KYC) ID verification software which it says is faster and more accurate thanks to its secure cloud hosting platform and access to large data sets.
Q: Describe the Contego solution
A: A single API that delivers real time risk data on people and companies. It is Java and MySQL based and sits on AWS (Amazon Web Services) with dedicated instances in Frankfurt and Dublin and with a UK based instance planned when AWS is hosted from the UK. Data residing on the system is heavily encrypted. It is offered as a cloud hosted service to banks and other commercial organisations.
By operating in real time it can improve business operations by allowing companies to verify identity details so on-boarding customers, clients and prospects rapidly for everything from account opening to tenancy deals and company checks.
Adrian Black, CEO Contego says, "If you are a bank and a company wants to engage, you need to check the business, its registration, beneficial shareholders, company documents and other data. Contego can do this in real time because we have more data from more suppliers, more real time data access than any other system."
The firm partners with Experian and Equifax.
Q: What problem does it solve/opportunity does it create?
"Think compliance and fraud, it allows our customers to improve effectiveness of on boarding and business checks. By automating processes, it reduces the cost."
"Checking addresses is pretty commoditised but KYC checks, on sellers, checks on buyers, where the money is coming from, tenant and landlord checks, there are very different scenarios. We can give one API, four different scorecards behind it.
"If the client is regulated there is a whole range of compliance and a whole range of checks to do. For example a UK citizen is looking to open a business account with a UK bank, yet his mobile phone is not in the UK? That might throw up some alarm signals. We can extract social media profiles and publically available information or check for known counterfeit identification documents. We help clients with a range of solutions based on their needs."
Clients include office supplier Westfield, Regus and Capita Asset Services. "We have some fintech start-ups using us doing check ups around currency exchange and property lending," says Black.
Q: Which best described your technology: it is a cloud solution. It is a SAAS solution. It is a third platform solution.
We have a platform license. We have over 500 rules in our system. We ask clients, what do you care about. We set up a scorecard. We can set up decision trees for client. Our ability to run risk scenarios is also a point of differentiation. We helping clients use lots of data they already possess.
The commercial model is a platform licences and effectively a transaction license. We look at transaction volumes and transaction complexity and calculate a transaction fee and fixed price for a year. We have sold directly and increasingly we’ll work with SIs and partners.
Constraints: There are no technological constraints. For us it is about access to markets and partnerships with data providers and building on that. We’re not a complete banking system but we’re a useful plug in-
Q: Describe the culture of your company.
For Contego, integrity is a key word. In the nature of things of what we do it is vital that we operate with the highest levels of integrity. We’ve built a tightly knit team with a different range of skills but each is valued for sharing in the philosophy.
Fraud and compliance are global problems. We can see that this business can internationalise through our one platform and one API approach which will allow clients to carry out checks on anybody. There is lots of data and we want to be the glue that binds it together.
Trust and integrity is at the heart of what we do. We have relationships and integration with 20 different data suppliers. We need more. We are creating relationships and we add value both to ourselves and to our clients from scaling.