For today’s profile we have Sarah Clark of Mitek.
Trusted by over 5,000 organisations and 70 million consumers across the globe, Mitek’s omni-channel mobile verification technology establishes a person’s real identity in an increasingly virtual world.
Our questions are in bold.
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Who are you and what’s your background?
I’m Sarah Clark, General Manager of Mitek’s Identity Business Unit. I have been involved with both technology and financial services since the early stages of my career where I’ve driven early lifecycle stage growth and strategy at several rapidly growing companies bringing both B2C and B2B products into blue ocean markets.
I have a math degree, enjoy solving complex problems and have many years of experience with product and market strategy– through the course of my career I’ve become highly interested in solving what may appear to be conflicting challenges around higher security, convenience and mobile usability when accessing financial services, and solving these across channels with data-driven, innovative and user-friendly technology solutions. Fintech is an ideal market space for me, I thrive on the fast pace of innovation as well as meeting the challenges for maximizing global accessibility to financial products.
What is your job title and what are your general responsibilities?
My job title is General Manager, Identity Business Unit, at Mitek. I lead a global business unit innovating in mobile identity verification products and I’m responsible for product strategy, business development, sales, marketing, customer success and growth of our business in general. Due to the growing global market demand for more secure, inclusive and mobile friendly identity verification solutions we are a high growth business and I am responsible for driving revenue growth – but one of the most key parts of my role is ensuring my organization stays laser focused on the needs and success of our customers – keeping our customer happy and solving real market needs is number one for us.
My current area of expertise and the market opportunity we are most focused on is with the global opportunity around finding a better way to ensure the individual at the other end of a digital transaction is who they say they are – in other words secure and inclusive identity verification – while optimizing the digital and specifically mobile user experience.
Can you give us an overview of your business?
Founded and incorporated on May 29, 1986 in Delaware, and based in San Diego, Mitek is trusted by over 5,000 organisations and 70 million consumers across the globe to provide omni-channel mobile verification technology and authentication verification solutions to establish a person’s real identity in an increasingly virtual world.
Mitek’s products include Mobile Verify and Mobile Deposit Capture. Mitek’s business to business model allows us to sell our digital on-boarding and verification and authentication software products to an increasing number of financial services, fintech’s, enterprises and payments organisations around the world.
Mitek’s highly advanced ID document verification solution allows an enterprise to verify a user’s identity during a mobile transaction, enabling financial institutions, payments companies and other businesses operating in highly regulated markets to transact business safely while increasing revenue from the mobile channel.
Mitek’s innovative mobile solutions are embedded into the apps of more than 5,400 organisations and used by tens of millions of consumers daily for new account openings, insurance quoting, mobile cheque deposit and more around the area of verification and on-boarding.
Mobile identity verification establishes mutual trust between individual and institution reducing fraud, speeding on-boarding and propelling digital change to transform identity into an asset rather than an obstacle for financial services providers.
Tell us how you are funded.
We’re publicly traded on NASDAQ (MITK)
Why did you start the company? To solve what problems?
Since the very beginning, our technology has been based on patented science and advanced algorithms that set us apart from the competition. In the early days, we saw the opportunity to revolutionise the banking space with remote check deposit: we invented Mobile Deposit®, the market-leading mobile remote deposit capture (mRDC) solution for retail financial institutions, brokerages, and pre-paid card providers. Today, we can proudly say that our remote check deposit software is the solution of choice for over 98% of financial institutions that offer mobile deposit, including 99 of the top 100 banks in the U.S.
Furthermore, we have capitalised on the lessons learnt along the way, and applied the wealth of knowledge gained over the years to better leverage the smartphone’s camera to offer best-in-class mobile capture and identity verification solutions.
Mitek’s ID document verification solution, Mobile Verify ™, allows an enterprise to verify a user’s identity during a mobile transaction, enabling financial institutions, payments companies and other businesses operating in highly regulated markets to transact business safely while increasing revenue from the mobile channel. Mitek also reduces the friction in the mobile user’s experience with advanced data pre-fill powered by Mobile Fill™.
In other words, our products use mobile to simplify daily tasks such as depositing a check, verifying your identity when opening a new bank account or enrolling with a new service, and reducing the time needed to fill out a form.
Who are your target customers? What’s your revenue model?
Mitek works with many of the world’s leading financial organisations, payments companies and fintech’s in order to securely validate and on-board their new customers.
Our revenue model encompasses both licences and transactions fees.
If you had a magic wand, what one thing would you change in the banking and/or FinTech sector?
Our technology makes it easier for anyone to sign up for a financial service, from anywhere, so we see ourselves as holding a key magic wand solution! That said I’ve seen an increasing trend towards leveraging cloud products, experimentation and using data for rapid improvement in user experience. These trends result in rapid innovation towards better user journeys– its been amazing to see and participate with some of the world’s largest banks as they embrace these guiding principles
What is your message for the larger players in the Finance industry?
If you’re trying to deal with the competing demands of regulation, competition, rapid social change and technology innovation, you need to create a digital relationship with your customers from the get-go. If you don’t, you risk getting left behind.
What phone are you carrying and why?
Currently I’m using an iPhone7 as my primary phone – part of my job is to keep up with mobile trends so I generally upgrade to the latest and greatest when available. Although much of my expansive music and photo library which I cannot live without is on the iCloud. I do also have a couple of Samsung Android devices in my bag and I do appreciate the strengths and features of both platforms.
Where do you get your industry news from?
TechCrunch, FinTech Weekly, VentureBeat, TechWorld, Wired, Gizmodo, Techradar… and of course, FinTech Profile!
Can you list 3 people you rate from the FinTech sector that we should be following on Twitter?
David Birch, @dgwbirch, Consult Hyperion consulting analyst and fintech commentator
Chris Skinner, @chris_skinner, financial services commentator and founder of networking events at FS Club
Brett King, @brettking, Author of AugmentedBook.com and FinTech founder
What’s the best FinTech product or service you’ve seen recently?
The field of machine and deep learning is one that we are heavily invested in at Mitek and in general this type of technology is a game changer in so many ways – critical in any FinTech product that has to do with finding predictive behavioural patterns – such as fraud detection.
At Mitek we are also very involved in biometrics – the recent exponential growth in biometrics is a game changer not only to boost identity verification capabilities but in terms of authenticating end users in general. The days of relying on “what you know” factors are behind us – we are truly seeing a drastic change in terms of how users can be identified and authenticated and its all about “what you have”, “who you are” and “how you behave” – we have only begun to see the combined strength of machine learning and biometrics recently.
Finally, let’s talk predictions. What trends do you think are going to define the next few years in the FinTech sector?
FinTech disruption, technological and service failings, as well as rapid globalisation has dramatically changed the regulatory landscape. Financial services organisations need to maintain compliance with ever-changing regulations such as Anti-Money Laundering Directives, the EU General Data Protection Regulation and the Second Payments Services Directive. These regulations require a potentially complex and costly overhaul of identity and authentication technology, processes and operational procedures in both the front and back office.
Existing financial services organisations must reduce costs and boost revenues to improve return on equity, whilst competing with new fintech providers. Fintech’s need to acquire new customers and expand into new markets to grow revenues and establish themselves as viable alternative financial institutions. To meet these challenges both are pursuing an agenda of digital transformation focused on shifting customers to enhanced self-service channels.
The rise of the Millennial generation and the free movement of people across the EU means that financial services organisations must rethink how they acquire and service a growing population that is often transient and predominantly digital first. Consumers will no longer accept having to visit a branch and fill out reams of forms to access financial services. These mobile-first, loyalty adverse and convenience-oriented individuals will vote with their feet if organisations don’t meet their needs.
With a mobile phone in nearly every person’s hand, it has become the de facto enabler and access point for financial services. Massive advances in artificial intelligence (AI) has opened up the analysis of big data at unprecedented speed, improving efficiencies, accuracy and scale. Cybersecurity is now a concern in the board room as well as the server room as both consumers and businesses race to prevent and protect. With technology creating both opportunities and threats, forward-thinking financial organisations are embracing the latest innovations in the fight to maintain security and the race to become digital-first banks.
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