A Simple and Secure Solution for SMEs to Onboard Customers
Onboarding customers can be riddled with issues, often resulting in abandonment. Larger companies will turn to third-party technology to minimize these drop-offs. Smaller companies with limited resources are not as fortunate. ID-Pal is here to help.
ID-Pal is doing what third-party technology does for larger businesses, but at a more affordable rate for smaller companies. James O’Toole, the CEO and one of the co-founders of ID-Pal, shares his insight into ID-Pal’s solution, the fintech industry and Ohio as a force in financial services.
James O’Toole, CEO and Co-founder
KYC authentication and onboarding solution
What does ID-Pal do?
O'Toole: ID-Pal is a digital know your customer (KYC) solution that enables businesses to onboard their customers simply, securely and conveniently. Using our solution, the onboarding process can be completed, either in-person or remotely, in a matter of minutes.
What is ID-Pal’s story? How did ID-Pal come to be? What sparked the idea?
O'Toole: ID-Pal was born out of a collective frustration among its co-founders, due to a lack of effective onboarding solutions available to small and medium-sized firms. Patrick McClafferty, one of the co-founders, was a client of Colum Lyon, another co-founder, at his stockbrokerage firm. Through that relationship, they became friends. Patrick and Colum aligned around the challenge that KYC posed to businesses and discussed the case for digitization.
About the same time, I met Colum, as we were both groomsmen for a friend’s wedding. I mentioned to him that I was returning to Ireland and exploring entrepreneurial opportunities to sink my teeth into. We discussed the customer onboarding problem, solution ideas and my background. He then invited me to join the team and presto, ID-Pal was formed!
We have since strengthened the core team with an experienced solutions architect as our chief technology officer and an experienced Harvard grad as our marketing and communications lead.
Why is ID-Pal important?
O'Toole: Prevailing industry practice for customer onboarding is typically manual, bureaucratic and susceptible to fraud. This inefficient and frustrating process results in up to 40 percent of customers abandoning the onboarding process in the branch and 80 percent abandoning online. While top-tier businesses have the budget and resources to integrate third-party technology into their own digital channels, small to medium-sized enterprises (SME) don’t have the capacity or the capability for such digital transformation projects. As a result, they are left grossly underserved by the market.
What are ID-Pal’s goals as a company?
O'Toole: ID-Pal’s goal is to provide best-of-breed technologies to SME companies for the first time. Our digital KYC solution is packaged together in a simple, low-cost software as a service solution, so it's easier, cheaper, faster and more reliable than either processing manually or building a custom IT solution.
We are reaching a much wider network of clients via distribution partnerships, which allows us to rapidly aggregate an otherwise disconnected market.
We also use solution partnerships to ensure that businesses with more complex needs can get a complete off-the-shelf solution, without compromising on our mission to provide the best tech at the lowest cost for the masses.
What are the biggest fintech trends?
O'Toole: The world of fintech is very exciting at the moment with lots of businesses exploring game-changing trends. A few trends in the forefront of our minds are: biometrics as part of identity and verification, the increased regulation levels and processes for companies, the growth in the global anti-money laundering software market, the digitization of customer journeys to remove friction, and a number of others.
Which of these fintech trends is most likely to impact ID-Pal?
O'Toole: Increased levels of regulation to combat money laundering as well as the trend toward digital identity verification means that ID-Pal will be able to add significant value to both businesses and customers.
Using our advanced mobile technologies, businesses will be able to reduce both the risk and the cost associated with customer onboarding, while removing friction from the user experience to help businesses grow top-line revenues.
How did ID-Pal hear about Fintech71?
O'Toole: We first heard about Fintech71 when we were contacted by Sam Biederman (a liaison at Fintech71). We were very excited about the program and were determined to win a spot, as we knew it would provide a fantastic opportunity for ID-Pal to create a beachhead into the U.S. market.
What appealed to ID-Pal about Fintech71?
O'Toole: Fintech71 appealed to us because it provided access to top financial services companies and to some incredible, world-class mentors. It also opened up the exciting opportunity for us to establish a beachhead in the U.S. market.
Why did ID-Pal apply to Fintech71?
O'Toole: In three words: investment, network and mentorship.
What is ID-Pal hoping to get out of Fintech71?
O'Toole: Client partners, solution partners, validation in the market and a clearly developed strategy for growth.
Have you been to Ohio before?
O'Toole: No, I had never been to Ohio.
What was your perception of Ohio before Fintech71?
O'Toole: To be honest, having been born and raised across the pond in Ireland, I hadn’t thought too much about Ohio prior to Fintech71. However, I knew that it was home to a number of Fortune 500 financial institutions and, in the lead-up to the program, I heard from numerous people that the state really is becoming known for its innovation and startup culture.
What do you like about Ohio thus far?
O'Toole: The people are incredibly nice, and the city of Columbus is beautiful and easy to manage. What’s not to like?
How does Ohio have a fintech advantage?
O'Toole: The supporting infrastructure, such as the Fintech71 program; a network of engaged corporate partners with a high concentration of financial services providers; and JobsOhio to help successful startups scale up their operations through support services, incentives and grants.
Interested in learning more about fintech, Fintech71 and financial services in Ohio? We invite you to visit our financial services page.