How can you prove who you are?
Know your Customer or Know your Client is a set of guidelines generally used in financial services. This allows the service providers to verify the client based on the information. With KYC one can verify if the person is who he claims to be.
Many people are unable to receive benefits from the government digitally, including social security, basic health care, and even education. Lack of identification is particularly a hindrance to legal migration to other countries, and to receive remittances internationally through formal channels.
KnowMeNow is committed to addressing these problems, harnessing the power of the blockchain to deliver more efficient, more secure, and more reliable ways of verifying and sharing data.
In an interview with The Enterprise World, Damian Mifsud, Co-Founder, and CEO tell us all about the founding of KnowMeNow.
Tell us about the company.
KnowMeNow is a technology company, member of QGen Group, the holistic 360-degree compliance solution service provider. The company provides a decentralized open blockchain trust ecosystem. The firm offers reusable KYC services in a more efficient, reliable, and compliant manner than ever before.
A great entrepreneur innovates, disrupts and manages to ‘sell’ his vision to his team and clients.
Learning’s from experience in QGen Group:
- Need to address operational and regulatory pain points related to KYC costs, customer on-boarding abandonment rates and issues with regulatory bodies (fines, licence suspension and revocation, etc.)
- Reduces costs, improves onboarding by having a frictionless KYC experience and also answers the question ‘Can KYC be reused?’ with a straight YES
KnowMeNow improves overall customer experience, gives users control and autonomy over their own personal data through decentralization and cryptographic immutability
- Endorsed by Insight Success, Malta Enterprise, Legal Tech Hub (Vienna), European Business Awards
- QGen founded in 2006. Innovation affiliate JitKYC doing business as (dba) KnowMeNow in 2018.
What were the initial challenges you faced?
- Assembling the A-team
- Educating the market
- Syncing the 2-sided marketplace, users and merchants.
Which was that point that triggered the growth of the company?
Having 15 years of experience in implementing large financial firm customer onboarding, KYC programs, remediation programs, the fundamental pain points that drive interest in KnowMeNow are:
- Ever-increasing and more rigid regulations (yearly AML directive updates)
- Onerous compliance costs
- Desire to continually improve customer experience at merchant’s end
- High frustration levels amongst clients who have to repeat monotonous document submission process for every registration with different merchants
How have the company graphs changed since the foundation? Can you share a few statistics?
- Number of users up by 000s growing daily
- Support for major 2 mobile app platforms; iOS and Android
- 10+ verticals worldwide
- 10s of 000s of customer checks across multiple jurisdictions
What is the reason behind your company’s long-standing success?
- Continuous innovation
- Disruptive cutting-edge technology
- Best of breed tech, fully owned IP
- In-depth knowledge of the compliance space
- Long experience and leadership in field
What are the products/services the company focuses on? How are your services different from those in the market?
KnowMeNow – The digital identity app.
How is reusable KYC possible?
The KnowMeNow smartphone application makes this possible for end-users… and helps conversions at the merchant’s end with a straightforward three-step process, namely: Upload – Verify – Onboard.
There is no middleman interaction at any point.
KnowMeNow offers high quality and efficient KYC (Know Your Customer) services packaged in a digital identity wallet with reusability features for clients.
We have created a unique re-usable KYC solution that allows customers to easily upload, verify and re-share their KYC documentation across multiple platforms in real-time.
Our KYC solution creates a simple user onboarding process and is catered to fit all types of user journeys – and more importantly, it aims towards compliance and frictionless customer acquisition.
This is a brief outline of how it works:
KnowMeNow is an autonomous framework that allows customers to create their own identity profiles on their smartphones, whilst at the same time allowing various businesses to perform inexpensive, permission-based KYC reviews in a faster, more reliable, and compliant manner than before, using the unique features of blockchain technology.
The application has one simple objective: that of giving users back control over their personal data in a reusable environment. As a blockchain-enabled mobile application, KnowMeNow acts as an identity wallet, giving users control over what identity documents they upload, verify and share.
Using trusted identification verification providers, KnowMeNow can identify and verify a user within minutes. Full control is given back to the user over their identity data, whilst KnowMeNow partners, such as remote gaming operators and banks seamlessly onboard verified consumers without running onerous KYC procedures.
The Main Benefits and USPs of our product, follow:
- AML Compliant Solution
- Eases Fraud Management
- Speeds up Customer Onboarding
- Easy Technical Integration (Merchant Node provided)
- Blockchain Secured
How do you decide to take the company a step further in terms of your products/services?
We listen, we collect feedback:
- User workgroups
- Track regulatory changes
Is there any new addition to the list of products/services? Anything exciting you would like to share?
Roadmap revolves around customer identity:
- More checks, more document types verification and sector specific checks
- Extending KYC and embedding digital ID wallet in a B2B offering as well
What do you think are the responsibilities of an entrepreneur?
An entrepreneur needs to have the ability to spot gaps and opportunities and subsequently help solve real-life problems with products and services that serve as practical solutions
A great entrepreneur innovates, disrupts, and manages to ‘sell’ his vision to his team and clients.
Leadership, based on inspiring and motivating the professionals around him, is an integral part of entrepreneurship
Idea + Vision + Team + Leadership
Can you please brief us about your professional experience?
Damian Mifsud, Chief Executive Officer, KnowMeNow
Damian is the co-founder of KnowMeNow, a blockchain-based Digital ID Wallet, and also the founder of QGen Group, the award-winning global KYC and KYB end-to-end solution provider
Damian has over 25 years of experience in compliance and payments for regulated financial businesses including Barclays Merchant Services, Omnipay, and MasterCard
What are the key achievements of your entrepreneurial journey?
Successfully launching and bootstrapping a number of award-winning FinTech and RegTech companies that went global and worked with/for top tier international blue-chip companies
Guest speaker at various high-profile events
European level awards winning
How do you look after your employees? What makes your team unique?
We empower our employees
We involve them in the running of the organization and listen to their views all along the way
We are transparent and communicate the vision from before they join us… this will ensure that we are all in sync and striving towards the same goals
We built a brilliant tightly knit committed team.
Communication and mutual respect are key.
We run a very fluid and flat organization.
Is there any special experience with your clients you would like to highlight?
- We have a very good relationship with all our clients.
- We are in it for the long term not for a ‘one night stand’. We believe in relationships.
- We invest in relationships and nurture them.
- We are as successful as our clients are.
Can you tell us which your favorite book is? And your favorite part of the book?
Down and Out in Paris and London by the English author George Orwell (published in 1933)
One person, who you admire the most?
Which is the most inspiring quote you have read?
Keep moving forward when you hit a wall
Constant vigilance- a need or a strategy? Please share your views.
Belief in product and focus
Keep eye on competition and market trends, but innovation cannot be dictated by what others do
Leaders set trends not follow them
Part of the strategy – feeds into it
It’s a rat race out there. How do you cope with that?
We have a very strong market scanning, measuring, and analysis mechanism in place which helps us gather insights that in turn aid us in managing our SMART goals. FOCUS on our goals… but not be completed blindfolded.