In 2022, The Fintech Times posed the question: ‘what sets a ‘fintech for good’ company apart from the rest?’. This year, we wanted to hear directly from global fintechs that align themselves with the ‘fintech for good’ ethos. Why do these companies perceive themselves as agents of positive change in the industry?
Today we hear from Matthew Debbage, CEO of the Americas and Asia for Creditsafe on how its fintech solutions help businesses mitigate financial risks, improve cash flow, and address social and environmental issues through technology.
Tell us about your company and what it does
Creditsafe is an expert in credit monitoring and risk management, and of the world’s most used providers of business reports. Today, 110,000 customers globally depend on Creditsafe to make critical business decisions. Using real-time data from over 9,000 sources across 160-plus countries, Creditsafe’s mission is to help businesses mitigate financial, legal and compliance risks, while also empowering them to make more informed decisions.
By using Creditsafe’s platform, businesses have been able to:
• Get full visibility into their own credit risk as well as that of their customers.
• Automate and accelerate the customer onboarding process, leading to a better customer experience.
• Avoid signing deals with customers who are likely to pay invoices late, which improves cash flow.
• De-risk their supply chains by vetting suppliers for financial, legal and compliance risks.
• Minimise the potential for compliance violations and government fines.
Why do you think your company is a ‘fintech for good’?
Being a fintech for good means that we use our technology to address economic, social and environmental issues. That’s exactly what our solutions do.
For example, our technology and data are essential and valuable in helping businesses improve their cash flow amid the looming recession. Without it, businesses are missing a critical piece of the story about the risks coming from their existing and new customers. Thanks to our data, businesses are able to predict up to 70 per cent of bankruptcies a year in advance.
That’s not the only reason we’re a fintech for good company. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is increasingly becoming an important part of business strategies. And rightfully so. Companies have a duty to prevent child/forced labor abuses in their global supply chains. But as we’ve seen over the year, many businesses still aren’t taking ethical sourcing seriously enough.
This is not just an issue that’s near and dear to our hearts; we built a solution to aid in tackling this problem. With our solutions, companies can do the necessary due diligence on their suppliers to make sure they have their finances in order, while also making sure their suppliers aren’t involved in child/forced labour..
How do you measure your impact?
Our success is only possible when our customers are successful. So, we speak to them regularly to understand how our solutions have helped them minimise their financial, legal and compliance risks. We always share their feedback with our product development team, which influences the new features and solutions we build.
We also invest heavily into improving the quantity and quality of trade payment data on our platform. The more robust our data is, the more insights are available to our customers so they can make the right decisions to protect and grow their businesses.
Our impact can be seen in the following ways:
• Empowering businesses to make 450,000 decisions daily.
• Analysing over 50+ risk categories across over 4.8 million profiles, covering over 240 territories.
• Automating AR/AP processes so that finance professionals can be more productive and effective in their roles.
• Helping businesses verify the identity of their customers, suppliers and partners so they don’t fall prey to fraud or scams.
• Ensuring our technology solutions are fully GDPR-compliant so that our customers can mitigate data security risks.
• Identifying companies listed on Political Exposed Persons and sanctions lists.
What more can be done to make finance more ethical, transparent, and accessible?
Technology can do wonders to improve the finance industry, especially when it comes to driving and supporting corporate social responsibility. Companies should use technology to run compliance checks on customers and suppliers not just to tick off a box and show they did their due diligence. They should use the results to decide which customers and suppliers are best to work with and which ones would do more harm than good in the long run.
If leadership prioritises CSR and due diligence, then it’ll be much easier to get them to buy into the value and ROI of purchasing technology solutions that help them achieve their CSR goals. Risk management technology should be the conduit to protecting the integrity of businesses, boosting cash flow and avoiding working with unethical, corrupt suppliers. And contrary to what some may think, doing the right thing doesn’t have to be in direct competition with growing the bottom line. Both are possible if businesses use technology to their advantage.