Breaking the silos

Fintech 35

Founded by a team that was part of the products division of Infosys Technologies, Customer XPS, aims to help banks identify frauds real-time and helps them take preventive action.

Rivi Varghese co-founder and CEO

Rivi Varghese, the co-founder of Customer XPS, believes that lady luck was on his side and helped in his entrepreneurial journey! In 1995, his first job at Infosys Technologies in 1995 is where he met his co-founders who were all part of the products division of the company and working on its core banking product, Finacle. Not just this. Varghese recalls,  “We were part of the transformation of the product and often led it from the front. Interestingly each one of us rode this wave wearing different hats – while I saw it from product management, sales and marketing perspectives, Aditya saw it from the technology and architecture angle, Balaji saw this from the customer on-boarding, bank transformation and implementation aspect. Sandhya was into finance and control for one of the largest SBUs of Infosys.” And hence, after they exited Infosys, doing something in the banking domain was a natural thought for them.  In 2006, the four founders setup Customer XPS, a company that uses artificial intelligence to offer customer experience management, enterprise fraud management software and services, anti-money laundering solutions and services to companies in banking, finance, telecom and retail domains. In 2010, the company raised series A to the tune of US $ 4 million by JAFCO (Nomura’s premier investment banking arm).


Our USP is the ability to think and bring a brain-like and contextual intelligence to the table in almost 100 milliseconds to be able to prevent fraud and influence a transaction


Since then it has expanded significantly and has grown to a team of 70 members, with geographical footprint in Asia and Middle East. It works with more than 15 banks, including Fortune 500 institutions, and been voted as the best Fraud Detection Product by OpRisk and has been positioned as Enterprise Product in Chartis RiskTech Quadrant.

Making a grand entry

“Ten years back, we realised that among all the industries, banking is the only sector where the entire life of the customer is registered,” recalls Varghese. He continues, “If you are with a bank for five years, there is enough collective wisdom about you, the customer, like your earnings, your family, your travel routine and so on.” He calls this intelligence the athma of the customer.  The team at Customer XPS wanted to leverage this information so that it can offer personalised solutions whenever any activity pertaining to an individual customer happens inthe bank.  “Despite banks having all these athma-like intelligence available, they were operating in silos. We wanted to integrate this and make it highly personalised,” says Varghese. This effectively helps take care of fraud or compliance as the transaction is presented in real-time to the banks.

“Our USP is the ability to think and bring a brain-like and contextual intelligence to the table in almost 100 milliseconds to be able to prevent fraud and influence a transaction,” he.   Apart from fraud and compliance, banks can also do contextual cross selling to its customers.

Another factor that differentiates Customer XPS is that most of the existing companies, due to their legacy, are still thinking in silos. “We are putting all this together now to get a solution and, hence, silo-based approach is not there with us,” says Varghese.

Powering the banks

When you look at fintech companies, many times, it is considered a competitor to banks,” opines Varghese. Giving an analogy of a book store, he says that between a regular store and an online store, an online store is gaining on the inefficiencies of the regular book store. Applying this to fintech companies, he says, “If you look at peer-to-peer lending, fintech companies survive due to the inefficiency of the existing bank systems.  We power the banks to think like a peer-to-peer lender and put their best food forward. The moment you put that athma there, you have a more information about the customer and are able to tap the transactions.” The company plugs the gap between the fintech company that competes with the banks and the bank’s inability to handle all these inefficiencies, operating more like an enabler to the bank.

Where to from here?  

Varghese says that he spent the last few weeks with few prominent banks in New York and in Europe and realised that the problem that the company is trying to solve isn’t unique to India. “They have been buying solutions in silos and we realised that we have created this structure out of India,” says he.  The company is already present in a few countries and aims to expand this number further. In fact, it has already signed POC with some global banks and is looking at aggressive expansion to the U.S. and Europe,to name a few.

The company’s goal for the next 1000 days is to increase the global accounts on its platform to half a billion from the current 250 million; manage 100 billion transactions from the current 6 billion; be present more than 30 countries from 5 countries now; be present in 100+ banks from the current 15. With these plans chalked out for the next 1000 days, Varghese and his team are all set to take Customer XPS to greater heights.


Snapshot

Founders: Rivi Varghese, Aditya Lal, Balaji Suryanarayana , Sandhya. V

Year: 2006

Concept: The company focuses on Banking Fraud Management, Anti-Money Laundering and Customer Experience under the product brand name, Clari5.

Investors: Series A by JAFCO (Nomura’s premier investment banking arm) in 2010

Poornima Kavlekar has been associated with The Smart CEO since the time of launch and is the Consulting Editor of the magazine. She has been writing for almost 20 years on a cross section of topics including stocks and personal finance and now, on entrepreneurship and growth enterprises. She is a trained Yoga Teacher, an avid endurance Cyclist and a Veena player.

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