This Authentic Conversation took place on May 10, 2017.
Simon Herron is the Head of International at VIX Verify and is based in Singapore.
Blair: For people that aren’t familiar – give us 140 characters or less about what VIX Verify does?
Simon: VIX Verify provides a real time online KYC solution – greenID. Clients use greenID to verify and onboard customers and comply with AML/CTF rules.
Blair: Does VIX Verify solve a problem or address an opportunity people already know they are facing, or does it do something where they don’t yet know that they need it?
Simon: Our greenID KYC solution both solves a problem our clients know they have as well as provides an opportunity they may not have considered. Specifically, our target markets are primarily financial institutions, telecoms carriers and other online services which are subject to KYC and AML/CTF type regulations. greenID provides a flexible compliant turnkey identity verification solution, including options for data checking, document capture and biometrics. greenID can be configured to meet the risk and regulatory needs of our clients across multiple global jurisdictions. This part of our business is very much driven by the need for our clients to solve their KYC compliance needs in as efficient manner as possible. On the other hand, greenID also provides a great opportunity to onboard new customers in a fully online mobile environment. Our end to end mobile onboarding tools incorporate document capture, OCR, authentication, data checking, and biometrics enabling a customer to scan a document, take a selfie and remotely onboard themselves in real-time. The workflow is designed with a great user experience in mind, to quickly capture new customers that may otherwise be lost through traditional onboarding processes. The solution can be easily and seamlessly integrated into our clients’ existing UI’s. We help our clients grow their customer base, cut the cost of manual or traditional verification processes, and meet their compliance needs.
Blair: Tell us a little bit about yourself – where are you from and what some aspects of your background that led you to where you are in VIX Verify?
Simon: I’m from Australia but my professional life has provided me with a wealth of global experience from the US, UK, Europe, Asia and Australia. I’ve been involved in helping businesses grow into new markets since 1999. And I’ve been involved in the online payments, transaction processing and later the digital commerce space starting around the same time. Originally a Chartered Accountant, I’ve moved from finance to business development to senior management and international strategy. A few years ago I was fortunate to be involved in starting up a very successful digital payments business in the US. Through this experience I gained a strong leaning towards the risk management, KYC and verification space. I couldn’t say “no” when the opportunity arose to manage the expansion of VIX Verify into new markets. Taking an innovative successful KYC product into new markets is an incredible opportunity.
Blair: What do you do for VIX Verify and what are you working on right now that you can tell us about?
Simon: As Head of International Business, I manage the growth and operation of VIX Verify in new markets beyond our home market of Australia. We currently have offices in the UK, Singapore, Netherlands and South Africa, and distribution agreements in the US. greenID has been designed as a global KYC platform with multi jurisdiction data and compliance capabilities. In 2016 I spent time in the UK setting up our most recent regional hub and building a great team who are now in place growing and serving our UK client base. I’ve recently moved to Singapore where we are focusing efforts to expand greenID into core Asian financial markets. Our mobile onboarding product is really a key part of our international strategy and we are currently working on an innovative business verification tool which I can tell you more about in a few weeks.
Blair: What’s a favorite customer success story that you can share?
Simon: I think it’s fair to say that VIX Verify has a lot of customer success stories, with over 300 clients including major financial institutions, telco’s, online gaming and eCommerce services. However my favorite story is of UBank, because it both signifies a point in time where we introduced a lot of flexibility and capability to greenID and demonstrates the incredible client service philosophy of our VIX Verify team.
UBank is an online-only bank in Australia that launched in 2008. When UBank started, they offered an innovative ‘online’ philosophy to enable more competitive banking. This meant no physical branches and customers were serviced exclusively using digital channels. Without a branch network but strong growth, UBank’s back office was inundated with new account applications and copies of identity (ID) documents for checking against ID requirements. They were in need of an online KYC system aligned with their company strategy. We worked in collaboration with UBank to customize and integrate greenID into their existing banking platform – providing a seamless, simple to use, online ID verification and onboarding process that enabled new customers to complete the enrolment and KYC process within two minutes of registering. Hundreds of thousands of new UBank customers were onboarded through greenID. We’ve since implemented the greenID™ solutions into new products like savings accounts, term deposits, self-managed investment funds and home loans. Most importantly, greenID supported UBank’s brand promise, helping deliver a truly online banking experience.
Blair: Most businesses have either a competitor or they are a replacement for something that’s already in place, or both. What makes VIX Verify different – why are people buying it?
Simon: We own the verification space in Australia/New Zealand. greenID verifies 5% of the population each month. Our greenID platform has the ability to operate across multiple markets and provide a fully integrated end to end verification process which is configurable to meet the needs of our clients, for onboarding and compliance purposes. We’re not just different to the competition through our broad range of capabilities, we’re better. We’re using our technical capabilities, our reputation and our unwaivering client focused philosophy to expand our business in new and existing markets.
Blair: Looking out 12, 24, 36 months, how do you think the world will be different, and what will people be saying about VIX Verify?
Simon: Digital transformation is only going to become more widespread, and as we move further into carrying our world in our pocket, mobile real-time identity verification will become increasingly important, and a larger part of our lives. I think we’re going to see a greater use of mobile based verification technologies including the use of biometrics for verification and authentication across online and real world use cases. KYC is becoming increasingly visible in our day to day experiences. Incorporating technologies and processes that provide a great seamless user experience into our real world interactions will benefit businesses and customers alike. VIX Verify is at the forefront of providing end to end integrated solutions to meet this need.
Blair: Giving you the final word – in your own words, what’s one thing you wish everyone knew about VIX Verify and what you are doing for people?
Simon: We care. We’re secure. We do one thing – KYC, and we do it well.
Serial Entrepreneur Blair Cohen is the Founder and Chief Evangelist of AuthenticID, a global leader in helping companies make the shift from authentication to true Identity proofing.