Data driven insight at Vocalink

We interviewed Marc Corbalan from Vocalink about AML Insights: data driven innovation that delivers real benefits to customers.

AML Insights (Anti Money Laundering Insights) from Vocalink won the Rising Star Award at Market Gravity's Corporate Entrepreneur Awards in November 2018 - a proven concept with the potential to make a significant impact.

So who are Vocalink?

  • Vocalink are a Mastercard company, acquired by them last year
  • They operate payments infrastructure between banks in the UK, processing 12 billion payments per year
  • Those payments are highly structured. High volume, high structure payments react well to advanced data science treatments such as machine learning and artificial intelligence
  • 4 years ago, Vocalink created a company which creates products out of the analysis of this data for banking clients , UK consumers and other businesses

AML Insights is one of the most successful products that Vocalink has created. Fraud is a huge problem in the UK, with money launderers typically transferring sums to one account and then quickly breaking that sum down through multiple transfers to different accounts, with different banks. This process is then repeated by the secondary accounts to make tracking the money incredibly difficult. Fraud figures in the UK are very high: in the first half of 2018 the total value scammed from people was £145 million.

What does AML Insights do, and how does it work?

  • AML Insights is a network product - enabling suspicious payments to be traced, even if the payment is split between multiple accounts and across different banks.
  • The product creates a visual map of when and where the money has moved, and is also able to pinpoint individual accounts known as 'money mule' accounts, which are used to transfer stolen funds.
  • This works to disrupt the networks by which fraudulent money is being dispersed. Making fraud more difficult therefore acts as a disincentive.
  • The tool can reduce the amount of time that fraud analysts spend looking at accounts by adding flags to those suspicious accounts. Contrary to perception, this has actually caused fraud teams to expand, because they have more information available to them.

"The majority of banks are competitive. Fraud teams see collaboration as the way to raise the bar. That uniqueness of banks collaborating with each other through fraud has created a good environment for us to work together. "
Marc Corbalan, Vocalink

How did Vocalink test AML Insights?

  • AML Insights invited anti fraud teams to the data lab, matching them with payments experts, data science and products experts
  • Extensively piloted the technology with real (offline) data
  • Presented the results to banks and waited for their approval before applying it to the live data
  • Used a feedback loop: the algorithm finds the accounts that it thinks are suspicious, these are then assessed by a fraud analyst. Through that feedback loop, the system becomes more and more accurate.

AML Insights is a world-first product and has attracted a lot of attention with other countries and other markets. They're currently working to see how they can deliver this technology to those businesses and customers.

If you'd like to learn more about Vocalink, or AML Insights, take a look at their website here

To listen to our dulcet tones on the podcast, you can find us on all the podcasting apps, or here


Corporate Innovation: from launch to 500,000 registered users with Yolt

"If you do things that are already known, you’re not innovating. New territory comes with making mistakes." - Frank Jan Risseeuw, Yolt

Hello friendly blog readers. I’m trialling a new format of the blog this month. If you find the podcast a little tl;dr, (too long; didn’t read) then you can now use this blog post to catch up in an easily digestible format. And if once you’ve read it, you want to have a listen, as always you can find us here.

This month, Ben and I spoke to Frank Jan Risseeuw, the CEO of Yolt, on their journey from an idea at ING 2.5 years ago, to 500,000 registered users and a plan for European expansion.

What is Yolt?

  • Yolt is a new money management ‘aggregator’ app which has just reached 500,000 registered users in the UK.
  • Why the UK? Yolt was launched here first because Frank Jan said it’s the capital of FinTech innovation, with a large appetite to test new apps. There’s also a wide banking landscape and a real opportunity to bring a digital only banking app to the market.
  • However, Yolt have recently launched a closed Beta test in Italy and France to see how the product will grow in this market.
  • The Yolt journey began in 2016 at ING, when the new open banking legislation was coming into play. ING wanted to capitalise on this and saw an opportunity to create a ‘bank without the balance sheet’. 

Many a corporate innovation or new idea never get off the ground. What is Yolt’s recipe for success? For Frank Jan, you need to have the following:

  • A clear purpose
  • A good plan
  • The trust of investors or the company backing the concept 
  • The right culture, which he defined as: the right people, who have the freedom to work and deliver 
  • Belief and trust in your idea: not bringing in new features and ideas every week – but sticking with the idea and having regular check-ins 
  • An ambitious yet resilient attitude – understanding that you need to get things to market quickly, in order to learn. When you do things that don’t work or make mistakes – that’s all part of it. 

ING had an idea, and Frank Jan took the role of CEO and started to build his team. What did he look for in the people he was bringing onboard?

  • People who can see the big picture, and understand the purpose of what you’re trying to achieve
  • People who can make traction, always taking small, agile steps to get things done
  • People who strive not for 99% but for 100% when the time comes

How did Yolt approach testing?

  • Test and learn cycles were employed throughout the process, starting with discussions with customers about their attitudes and thoughts on money management
  • Continuing to run focus groups and testing around the topic of ‘Unthink’, as Unthink Money is Yolt’s tagline, to continue to engage customers
  • Building a community of power users who were very invested in the product
  • A flexible roadmap of planned features which would change depending on customer feedback

And finally, here’s a picture of the Yolt team accepting their Excellence in Innovation Award at the CEAs this year. Well done Yolt!


NEWS: Exploring digital transformation in wealth and asset management

Market Gravity to speak at two-day London event exploring digital opportunities in wealth and asset management

Join business leaders at a two-day event in London aimed at highlighting how wealth and asset managers can implement and get the best out of digital technology through agile working and innovative leadership.

Experts from some of Europe’s top investment management companies will gather to share their experiences of digital transformation and how they use data in new ways to make more intelligent decisions and expand marketing reach.

The event is split into two days (7th and 8th February) with day one comprising a series of workshops followed by a day of keynote presentations, roundtable debates and facilitated panel discussions. Expert speakers include Peter Sayburn, founder and CEO of Market Gravity, who will host an interactive workshop on how to use digital technology to create a highly compelling client offering, putting customers and principles over products. He will share insights on how to build platforms and processes to ensure customers of all age groups love interacting with your organisation, and design products and services that are meaningful and relevant to your audience’s needs.

Peter is an entrepreneur, investor and author who has worked with some of the world’s foremost wealth and asset management businesses. He is passionate in the belief that if large companies are to live and grow in the digital age they must create a culture of innovation and embrace new digital technologies to stay ahead in the competitive marketplace.

Peter says: "Digital technology is bringing new and exciting opportunities to the wealth and asset management sector and now is the time for businesses to embrace the technology and implement new ways of working to engage with customers.

“This event brings together experts to share knowledge, experience and predictions on what’s coming up and highlights how new business models and cultures can improve operations and increase profitability, while meeting customer needs. I’m delighted to be presenting alongside leading innovators and trailblazers within digital transformation and look forward to some lively discussions.”

Jodie Paula Cohen, head of content at Event Creation Network, organised the event and says: “It’s important for the wealth and asset management sector to recognise the potential of digital transformation, technology and agile working to ensure customers are engaged, serviced well and enjoy their experience. A Fidelity report showed that managers who deploy digital technology have 40 per cent more assets under management than those who don’t, so to stay relevant, digital has to be an integral part of their offering. This event aims to inform attendees of the opportunities and offer techniques to put into practice within their organisations to make the most of digital technology.”

The event will run over two days. Workshops take place on Tuesday 7th February at 45 Moorfields, and the second day of presentations on Wednesday 8th are held at 200 Aldersgate, St Paul’s.

As well as Peter Sayburn, speakers include Stephen Ingledew (formerly with Standard Life) and Mary Harper from Standard Life, Billy Burnside from Aviva Investors and Sasha Dabliz from Rothschild Private Wealth.

For a list of sessions and workshops and to book your ticket, http://www.dtiwam-europe.com/index.html