Written by Richard Morecroft, COO at Mode.
In the closing chapters of The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy is in awe of the Great Oz, his bellowing voice and apparent wisdom. She marvels at his technology and power, believing the wizard's “magic” to be controlling everything but as we know, her dog Toto soon finds out this performance is all smoke and mirrors and it’s just an old guy behind a curtain, pulling levers and tweaking knobs… pretending.
For years, the UK banking sector has been similar in its approach to Digital. An app that looked great, showed lots of familiar information and pretended to give Dorothy (their customer) a great experience but in reality, it was all show. We quickly found out that they indeed did have a (possibly old) guy behind the curtain doing things the same way they always did, manually. The explosion of FinTech globally was/is proof of the vacuum of innovation in this old guard and, whilst the detonation was years ago, the blast wave continues across the financial services industry.
CREATING THE WIZARD
The neo-banking apps that people use today are successful because they actually created the “Wizard” to automate and systemise banking for the customer through a sophisticated app, especially the time-consuming pieces like onboarding. The process known as KYC (Know Your Customer) is where businesses need to verify the identity and source of income of their customers. This process is mandated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the UK, widely regarded as the “gold standard” of financial services regulation and one of the most forward thinking globally.
A significant part of the FCA’s focus is to ensure their industry isn’t abused by criminals and 'ne’er-do-wells'. Fundamentally, this means that when money enters or leaves the UK Financial Services domain, its origin and destination are verified. This is an enormous undertaking given the sheer volume and speed that money moves around the UK in everyday life.
FinTech and growth of the internet has launched new breeds of technology, designed to quickly verify identity and ensure your income is legitimate (e.g. from payroll or company profits). Much of this tech is invisible, the customer sees the app but behind the scenes, technology that verifies your documents are real, for example matching your face to your ID document and checking your name on the electoral register or performing a credit check. All of this happens in microseconds.
BEST IN CLASS
At Mode, we use the latest and best-in-class technology to make financial services more accessible, easier and automated. Most of our amazing tech works in the background making our services faster, easier and safer… taking away the pain of slow (often people based) processes. Throughout our customer journey, from sign up, first transaction and ongoing monitoring, the operations behind the scene work tirelessly to ensure everything works as it should and it happens fast. Over 90% of our customer complete their onboarding within 3 minutes and for the few who get stuck, we have humans available every day to help customers get going again.
Of course, we aren’t standing still, we continue to build and champion the next evolution of tech. Embracing digital assets like Bitcoin means our operation needs to include new technologies to ensure these digital assets are safe (just like your money) and not used by criminals. We believe in letting the technology take the strain so our people can focus on both developing new and innovative products, helping our customers navigate the latest and best in financial services and ensuring their money and assets are safe.
Our tech wizardry is doing 99% of the work for Dorothy (and Toto) but rest assured the Mode team are still behind the curtain, making the real magic happen.