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Q&A with Cable CEO, Natasha Vernier: Let’s talk automated assurance and customer onboarding

Cable's innovative technology lets us conduct sophisticated automated assurance and customer checks to ensure compliance across our platform.

Portrait of Shanzé Ijaz Munir
Shanzé Ijaz MunirWednesday 12 April 2023

At Griffin, we take compliance very seriously. It's in our DNA, and we hold ourselves accountable as both a bank and a BaaS provider. We apply the same level of rigour when selecting our integration partners as we apply in building our own systems, which is why we've chosen Cable to help us strengthen our existing financial crime controls.

Griffin's modern architecture  means that we can easily integrate with new, innovative technologies like Cable. This flexibility allows us to choose the best solutions to serve our customers.

With Cable, we can conduct sophisticated automated assurance and continuous customer checks to ensure regulatory compliance across our platform. This allows us to onboard new customers quickly and safely, while staying ahead of financial crime risks as they emerge. Cable's purpose-built suite of tools, including tech-enabled risk assessments, automated assurance, and quality assurance, will also help us identify and respond to customer and market behaviours quickly and efficiently.

We sat down with Natasha Vernier, Cable's CEO to hear about Cable's history, approach to innovation, and what fintechs will get from this partnership:

Q: Could you give us a brief overview of why you started Cable and the problem the company aims to solve?

In my previous role as Head of Financial Crime at Monzo Bank, I had led the team responsible for building out the bank’s financial crime controls. As half of this team were engineers and data scientists, we built lots of great technology in house, and partnered with some fantastic vendors for things like ID&V and sanctions checks.

There was another financial crime team at Monzo whose job was to independently test if our controls were effective. But that team had no engineers or data scientists, and they couldn’t buy any technology because none existed. So to understand the effectiveness of our controls, they would manually review a handful of accounts every so often.

In fact, that is how all financial institutions satisfy the regulatory requirement to understand the effectiveness of controls‍—‌by manually sampling a tiny percentage of accounts. This always struck me as odd‍—‌how many accounts can a small team sample from millions of customer accounts? How do we really know how effective the controls are given the limited sampling size? These questions helped me realise the huge gap in the market for testing technology solutions to check effectiveness of controls, and the need for a company like Cable.

The reality is that financial institutions have very little idea regarding how effective their controls are at stopping financial crime. As a result, when control issues inevitably surface in dip-sampling or manual testing, companies get stuck in costly, lengthy remediations and look backs to figure out how widespread the issues are. The problem is particularly acute  in the BaaS space, as there’s intense regulatory pressure on banks to have proper oversight of their fintech programmes’ financial crime compliance measures.

Cable gives banks and fintechs automated solutions to these problems. We provide the all-in-one controls effectiveness testing platform to help banks and fintechs comply with their financial crime requirements. We tell them how well their controls are operating in real-time, all the time.

Our customers and partners are choosing Cable because we help them automate assurance processes to immediately detect regulatory breaches, control failures or risks across their business and streamline customer onboarding‍—‌while also saving costs, time, and compliance resources.

Q: How do you think fintechs, and the UK economy at large, will benefit from this partnership?

I think the biggest benefits for fintechs will be faster onboarding and a smoother end-to-end compliance experience from the pairing of Griffin’s and Cable’s technologies. But fintechs should also have more confidence knowing they’re working with companies embracing and developing the most innovative compliance technology.

We like to say that we help compliance officers say “yes”! Instead of compliance being seen as a blocker to growth or expansion, with tools like Cable being used with innovative banks like Griffin, fintechs can grow faster and with more confidence, and their compliance officers can say “yes” more often!

Q: Cable's technology is notably innovative. How is Cable’s platform different from what’s out there in the market?

There are lots of vendors that help companies do KYC and KYB checks, screening, and transaction monitoring using various controls. But no one knows how effectively any of these controls are operating at any given time. Right now, the only alternative to Cable is doing tiny, manual dip-sampling or using expensive consultants, and obtaining only an incomplete picture.

There simply aren’t other solutions like Cable offering scalable, automated, comprehensive monitoring capabilities across banks, BaaS banks, and fintechs.

Q: What are the most important things every fintech needs to know about compliance and financial crime prevention?

Financial crime compliance can make or break your banking relationships. BaaS banks are under severe regulatory pressure regarding oversight of their fintech programmes, and banks are ratcheting up expectations on their fintechs. The recent market turmoil also means bank oversight is only going to increase.

The bottom-line is that fintechs have to take a proactive approach to financial crime compliance. Banking partners need to see that their fintechs’ compliance controls and systems are working effectively. This is a non-negotiable for banks partnering with fintechs.

Compliance used to be thought of as a cost centre, but today, the best BaaS banks and fintechs are making compliance a top priority and investing in the necessary technology and tools to get this right.

Q: How can fintechs find the right balance between robust automated assurance processes and seamless customer onboarding?

I think these two things go hand in hand. Having automated assurance enables you to offer better customer onboarding experiences because of the greater confidence in knowing your controls are working at any time.

Rapid customer growth and onboarding has to be paired with strong investment in compliance technology and capabilities. If not, there are too many examples of banks or fintechs being completely restricted from growth until they get their compliance right.

So, if fintechs want to prevent compliance from being a growth inhibitor, they need to invest in the right compliance infrastructure early on to create the foundation for their growth.

We're excited about the possibilities this partnership holds and look forward to working with Cable to bring exciting solutions to our customers.

By leveraging Cable’s cutting-edge technology and Griffin’s powerful full-stack platform, we can provide a smoother and more streamlined end-to-end onboarding and compliance experience for our customers.