Every year, the number of cyberattacks continues to rise, leaving many firms unsure how to tackle fraudsters’ attempts. In this landscape, many of these firms are also struggling to ensure compliance with changing regulations.
With this in mind, this week, we hear from Andrew Doyle, CEO of NorthRow, the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) company revolutionising how regulated organisations manage risk by digitally transforming their client onboarding, monitoring and AML compliance processes.
Tell us more about your company and its purpose
Our purpose is ultimately to protect our customers from the devastating effects that fraud, and other forms of economic crime, can have on individuals and companies.
Founded in 2012 to detect and prevent fraudulent activities in online markets, we have evolved to become an end-to-end solution helping regulated companies across all markets meet complicated Anti Money Laundering (AML) compliance regulations, enabling them to grow safely and effectively as a result.
The power of our technology is that it helps businesses manage the increasingly complex nature of financial systems and the changing regulatory requirements that come with this. We facilitate and streamline regulatory compliance, ensuring that businesses have the tools to stay compliant, avoiding any hefty fines, potential legal costs and reputational damage that come with non-compliance.
We provide a suite of automated tools that facilitates the onboarding of customers and provide continuous due diligence thereafter. Our goal is to make that journey quick, effortless and pleasant for both our customers and the end customer too.
What are some of your recent achievements you’d like to highlight?
It’s a really exciting time for NorthRow – our team is growing rapidly to meet the demands of our quickly expanding customer base. This is a real testament to both the product we offer and the team that delivers it.
We recently launched WorkStation, our flagship and industry-leading product, which enables compliance teams to onboard new customers safely in just a matter of seconds, rather than days. It’s streamlining compliance and ultimately enabling companies to grow faster as a result.
How did you get into the fintech industry?
Truthfully it was by accident! I have worked in the global technology sector for over 30 years, focusing on business growth and execution so I have a very thorough understanding of the tech element, but my entry into the world of financial services came when I was asked to join the NorthRow board in 2019.
It was evolving from start-up to scale-up and I joined to drive that process forward. I’m fortunate to be surrounded by financial experts who provided me with exceptional insight into the market so I was able to learn on the job very quickly!
What’s the best thing about working in the fintech industry?
In many ways, fintech has become a bedrock of our daily lives. From buying a coffee to paying a mortgage or investing savings, fintech has facilitated customer convenience like nothing else. What we at NorthRow do is make that experience a better, more efficient and ultimately safer one for the end customer and that’s the most exciting thing for me.
What frustrates you most about the fintech industry?
It is less about what frustrates me about fintech itself and more about how much more should be done to stop incidents of money laundering and financial crime from happening in the first place.
Regulators and lawmakers are often too slow to act, meaning bad actors are getting away with crimes that could be stopped if necessary legislation was changed.
For example, the UK Government should provide Companies House with sufficient resources and legal powers to (a) validate and verify the person of significant control (PSC) information being submitted including before incorporating a company, and (b) build a capability to identify and report suspicious activity. This would enable Companies House to take a more thorough approach to rooting out inaccurate submissions and assisting the Insolvency Service and law enforcement agencies in investigations into financial crime.
How have your previous roles influenced your career?
I’ve held roles across sales and marketing, finance, operations and product delivery and worked for multinational companies, as well as early-stage and scale-up companies so my experience is wide and varied in that sense and each role I have had has influenced the next one.
What’s the best mistake you’ve ever made?
Alongside two co-founders, I started one of the world’s first mobile social networks back in 2006. It was a great concept but just too far ahead of its time as data was very expensive. This was before the iPhone and Android OS, so we had more than 25 different mobile operating systems to contend with.
My single biggest lesson from that was that no matter how brilliant an idea seems, to succeed it requires all the necessary factors for market growth to be in place.
What has the future got in store for your company?
It’s a really exciting time for us. Regulation around the movement of money is changing and expanding all the time which means our customer base is too.
We have already expanded into new industries over the last few years and while we are primarily a UK-based company, we have also begun to expand our customer base into the American and Asian markets as well.
At the same time, we are relentlessly focused on product development to ensure our flagship product is meeting these changing regulatory requirements and can adapt to different industry needs.
What are the next key talking points or challenges for your industry as a whole?
As ways of money laundering evolve, so too must the regulation that guides AML efforts. This means the continuous updating of AML regulation is an ongoing challenge.
Quite rightly, the renewed focus on ESG means businesses need to scrutinise the entities and individuals they do business with even more than ever to ensure there is no indirect involvement in environmental crimes or human rights abuses.