“The beautiful thing about behavioral insights is that they can be applied to so many applications and industries. We are always talking to players in other sectors and are ready to innovate…trust me, we are just getting started!”
Hi, please tell us about your journey into technology and how you started at BioCatch?
Mark Elliot: Prior to joining BioCatch I spent my career at large organizations within the financial services industry – Capital One and TIAA to name a couple. I ran a digital/direct banking business as well as led strategy and marketing over the years. After nearly 20 years at large companies, I really wanted to be part of something growing fast and “on the cutting edge.” I came to BioCatch right after the start of the pandemic to see how I could leverage my experience at an early stage technology company that was disrupting the industry in behavioral biometrics. It has been an amazing 6 months, feels like 6 years given how much I have already learned!
What is BioCatch? What kind of behavioral marketing challenges does it solve for customers?
Mark Elliot: BioCatch is a behavioral insights company. Each person has unique patterns hidden within their everyday digital behaviors…how you move your mouse, swipe on your phone, etc. At BioCatch we analyze that data and use it to protect our customers’ clients and their assets from cyber and financial crime. For example – our Account Opening Protection solution was developed in cooperation with a major credit card issuer. The company wanted to reduce the number of credit card applications flagged for fraud review and increase the percentage of applications automatically approved. We worked together to leverage BioCatch’s behavioral insights to quickly build models that identify behaviors associated with fake applications and approve more real applications without any delay. This resulted in a massive increase in revenue, mitigated risk, and a seamless customer experience.
Could you tell us about your Ideal Customer Profile? Which new Markets and industries are you currently targeting or planning to do so in the future?
Mark Elliot: Right now, we are focused on the financial services industry – which encompasses banks, credit card issuers, credit issuers, and insurance companies. We also have partnerships within the e-commerce space and are explicitly looking at the payments space as well. These industries are excited about the potential for leveraging behavioral insights to provide a better customer experience with increased protection for both the customer and the company. The beautiful thing about behavioral insights is that they can be applied to so many applications and industries. We are always talking to players in other sectors and are ready to innovate…trust me, we are just getting started!
Tell us a little more about BioCatch Analyst Station and the kind of projects you have?
Mark Elliot: BioCatch’s analyst station is a custom-built platform that allows fraud analysts the visibility to quickly and easily identify, investigate and act upon potentially fraudulent activity. Time is always of the essence when fighting fraud. BioCatch provides continuous monitoring, meaning that if the fraud attacks occur later after login, we can identify the change in behavior and quickly update a session’s risk score. This is a unique feature of behavioral data not possible when using a location or device-based solution.
We also recently announced the creation of the BioCatch Client Innovation Board, a group of financial institutions who’ve invested in us and have agreed to join forces to work together. The group will share industry trends and act as design partners with BioCatch. We are really excited about what this cooperation signals to the industry and how the landscape will change over the next few years.
Which technologies are disrupting the global Financial Services market? Where does the BioCatch – Experian collaboration fit into these mix of Fintech things?
Mark Elliot: For so long the financial services industry was very “old school,” still focused on face-to-face interactions…I think we’ve been playing catch-up for a while now. That means there is a lot of room for disruption; BioCatch is in the B2B space but serving the interests of the consumer, building a more secure future through innovation.
BioCatch and Experian have partnered to revolutionize the credit industry. Not so long ago no one had an identity to protect beyond their checkbook and social security number. Everything was on paper. The world has entered a digital age and now new identities have been built up over time online. It is much easier to steal a digital identity than it is to break into someone’s home safe, and a person’s entire future can depend on their digital identity. BioCatch and Experian are innovating to stay ahead of the curve in cybercrime and offer unique protection for the organization as well as for Experian’s customers: both current and future.
Tell us more about your remote work from home technology stack? How do these technologies / platforms help you to stay on top of your business and operations?
Mark Elliot: At BioCatch we rely heavily on Microsoft – Office, Teams, and Outlook. Our technology is hosted on Azure and we have a great relationship with the team at Microsoft (including protection for some of their other clients with BioCatch). I spend most of my day on video meetings, unfortunately, given we can’t meet face-to-face right now. I’m looking forward to getting back into the office someday, but for now my team is spread across the U.S.
Hear it from the pro: Which technologies are disrupting the global Financial Services market? Where does BioCatch – Experian collaboration fit into these mix of Fintech things?
Mark Elliot: FinTech has driven a lot of disruption in the B2C space over the last 5-10 years: online banks, faster payments, robo-investing, digital mortgage and e-insurance. BioCatch is a B2B “enabler” of the digital transformation in financial services. Our mission is to create trust and security in a digital-first world. Working with Experian means we can protect their customers from ill-intent and ensure that Experian is only working with and caring for legitimate consumers – not the bad guys.
How can AI ML and Blockchain capabilities improve operational capabilities for any financial services firm?
Mark Elliot: Financial services is now, more than ever, based on data rather than on intuition. Once you begin developing technology with massive amounts of data it is critical to keep it secure (blockchain) and draw compelling insights from the patterns – that’s where machine learning comes into play.
BioCatch is a machine learning company; we collect over a billion pieces of data each month. Data that humans create online through everyday actions like checking their bank account balance. What sets us apart is how we analyze data that is uncorrelated to traditional data fields and leverage machine learning to find patterns. Those patterns can indicate use of long- or short-term memory, intent, age, distress, and much more. Without machine learning we would never have visibility into these insights.
During the COVID-19, any specific corporate campaign you came across that inspired you to stay focused on your goals / Contribute to mankind?
Mark Elliot: Personally, I have always found Dove to be a brand on the leading edge of social change and inspiration. Their recent campaign focused on the courage of front-line healthcare workers…” Courage Is Beautiful.” I found it to be a powerful reminder of what it takes to help repair the world around us.
Any advice to young cyber security professionals facing the heat of the moment:
Mark Elliot: This is a really interesting time to be in the cybersecurity space. We are seeing a huge shift in fraud patterns because society has been disrupted. For those new to the industry (myself included!), I highly recommend paying attention and learning how behavioral and cultural norms are shifting. The digital landscape has changed dramatically in the last 10 months; the move to online work-play-live is one we’ve been expecting, but it happened faster than anticipated because of the pandemic.
Originally published on Martechseries.com