Ryan Canin, the CEO of DocFox, which has gone from software development to a truly global business a verification and authentication FinTech, put on a rollicking masterclass in front of a packed house at the African FinTech Awards at the Finance Indaba Africa on 12 October at the Sandton Convention Centre.
The "James Bond of financial services" is on a mission to end global money laundering.
"Fica and the opening of accounts is a global problem, whether you are talking about the USA, the UK, or South Africa. Many organisations may think that money laundering is not relevant to them, but we have had people come to us after discovering terrorist financing, for example, at a later date. This is how bad guys bank and bring illicit funds into the mainstream.
"We discovered the pain of compliance with strict regulations, while working on loyalty programmes in software development and moved into the KYC and Fica space, where we create huge value," he said, adding that the FinTech had discovered many red flags in dealing with client verification, such as a director who had 14 different addresses, an online business without a website and a firm that was headquartered in what turned out to be a derelict building
Canin said many organisations were going through tedious manual processes to comply, so DocFox focuses on intelligently automation by leveraging technology. The company began by focusing on forex traders, an underserved market, and smaller businesses, before landing investment which has allowed it to serve much larger enterprises. It has now expanded to the USA, where it serves community banks, and in one instance, helped reduce a client's account sign-up process from 17 to two days.
Not trusting the "engineer's reading of the law", DocFox partnered with one of the world's pre-eminent law firms, Norton Rose Fulbright, to ensure its compliance procedures were up to scratch and this soon proved to be a game-changer for the fledgling FinTech.
Unlike many of its competitors, DocFox is very big on collaboration. "We share everything because we believe there is a synergistic overlap. We believe in immediate feedback and speak to our clients all the time. Growth is an iterative process. We are passionate about every individual enjoying access to their own data and that services should revolve around client consent and responsibility."