An outstanding year in review, building up for 2023
Last October, Neterium team attended SIBOS, the world's premier financial services event. During four days, the team met with many stakeholders and industry key players. Rather than starting directly with Neterium's product presentation, Pascal Aerens, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer at Neterium, usually started the conversation by explaining that in 2022, business leaders' primary concern is geopolitical instability, before inflation and other economic considerations.
This perspective is quite interesting in a time of uncertainty and economic downturn. In a global world, building and leading a thriving business means thinking outside of silos, considering the entire environment and not just the economic perspective.
Neterium, which celebrated its five years of existence in 2022, is well aware of those challenges and embraces a game-changing approach in its journey to reinvent Financial Crime Prevention, responding to the explosion of market demand for highly performant, scalable and efficient sanctions screening.
Created and developed by senior industry experts in 2017 and leveraging top-notch technology, Neterium is committed to allowing clients and partners to achieve excellence in compliance while delivering a frictionless customer experience through its innovative API offer.
From the first steps five years ago to now scaling up and becoming a global leader, we sat down with Luc Meurant, CEO of Neterium and Pascal Aerens, Co-Founder and CPO, to detail:
- Why 2022 is a turning point for the industry
- What are the significant achievements of Neterium in 2022
- What are the 2023 objectives
- And finally, where the industry is going.
1) 2022: a turning point for the industry
When founded in 2017, Neterium was built on a vision that anticipated two key market evolutions:
- The increasing complexity of the sanctions environment. Sanctions overall are enacted faster, are more targeted and more complex to implement. Neterium has been developing technical solutions that meet these challenges of precision, agility, flexibility, and performance.
- The acceleration of digitalisation, driving an exponential increase in transaction volumes. The pandemic forced most payments services to go all-digital in just a few weeks, imposing unprecedented pressure on transaction screening processes.
Digitalisation is now the new norm two years and a half after the start of the Covid crisis. Ten months after the gush of Western sanctions against Russia; the volume, velocity and complexity of the sanctions have not slowed down. The financial industry has been under significant pressure, requiring extraordinary vigilance for its transactions and name screening activities and, as result, the need to increase effectiveness and efficiency by leveraging best-of-breed solutions and analytics. On top of this, the payments landscape has also evolved: many new instruments, such as instant payments requiring very low latency, have emerged or significantly grown in importance. And new players have appeared, requiring a much wider variety of information and payment methods to be screened.
Those crises have also emphasised the ramping frustration with the existing screening systems: while banks now have to handle huge amounts of payments, and have just a few milliseconds to process each one, legacy screening solutions are inflexible, inefficient and expensive to maintain. Many solutions are black boxes, not offering the explainability that is now required by regulators. The financial industry’s challenge remains to operate a totally effective screening process while being extremely efficient to prevent a high volume of transactions from being unnecessarily blocked.
Overall, the evolution of compliance in the finance industry over the last years has validated the choices made when starting Neterium. APIs and cloud technologies are now the way to go, and many solutions designed in the past without these concepts do not have the capability, responsiveness and reliability to process millions of transactions or names in real-time.
2) What are the major achievements of Neterium in 2022?
Neterium's business approach is different from most players as the team has built its products and strategy to operate as a specialised component inside an application ecosystem. Legacy watchlist screening solutions offering a monolithic approach (including screening engine, list data, alert resolution interfaces in a single package) are increasingly outdated. Neterium is embracing the ecosystem model in which clients can select the best components and assemble them through standard APIs to get a solution tailored to their specific context
Neterium is highly focused on one single mission: building a next-generation watchlist screening engine. Neterium's API-native screening engine is unique in terms of effectiveness, efficiency, scalability, analytics, flexibility and explainability. And on top of this, the neterium engine does not store any personal data, as a testimony to the company’s commitment to protecting data privacy. As a consequence, the team has become expert at building sophisticated AI models based only on metadata, derived data and synthetic data.
This focused approach and outside-of-the-box thinking led Neterium to develop critical partnerships in 2022: Neterium has reinforced its partnerships with key watchlist data vendors, specifically Dow Jones, Refinitiv, Acuris and Kharon. Moreover, several strategic partnerships were concluded, notably with Ion Treasury for transaction screening in the corporate space, GSS for transaction screening, and SAS for both name and transaction screening, with one live implementation with Orange Bank.
Neterium's hard work and expansion have also been recognised by major analysts in 2022: the company has been named "Category Leader '' for name and transaction screening solutions in the Chartis Research's 2022 Watchlist Monitoring report. This is Neterium's first participation in this report, so being directly mapped in the top right quadrant is a testimony to the solution's quality and innovation.
Finally, because there is no company without a dedicated team, Neterium also grew its workforce in 2022, with now 15 people supporting and delivering to the clients.
3) What are the objectives ahead in 2023?
After such an intense and successful year, the objective of Neterium could be to simply continue the work. But the ambition is, and has always been, more prominent: becoming the market leader in watchlist screening technology, focusing on the most demanding financial institutions, digital platforms and fintech. With this in mind, the focus for 2023 will be threefold:
- The first objective is to continue to hire top talent: Neterium is committed to hiring highly talented individuals, who deeply share the company values, bring diversity in the thinking processes and can adapt to a high-velocity environment. In Neterium’s scale-up journey, several positions are already open and more will follow. Beyond sustaining our business operations, growing our team will also help build further resilience within the company, which we will also accomplish through initiatives like the ISO27001 security certification.
- The second objective is to continue to smoothly on-board a growing number of large clients, while delivering the same outstanding user experience. As Neterium increasingly engages with large banks having complex legacy systems and less experience with Cloud and APIs, the key is to help them find the optimal way to integrate with Neterium’s solutions and reap the benefits of these innovative technologies.
- Finally, the third objective is to build an open, engaged, diverse and powerful Neterium users community, allowing the product roadmap to be guided by the users’ feedback and insights.
4) Where the industry is going, and where Neterium is going.
From an industry point of view, this is no longer a time for observation but a time for action: industry participants are frustrated with outdated solutions, based on obsolete technology stacks and ill-suited to handle the complexity and velocity of the current sanctions challenges. Neterium is committed to changing that and offering the next generation of solutions.
For many years, the Neterium founding team has been convinced of the distinctive value of their technology and approach. Wise leaders learn from the past, observe the present and build for the future. The timing is now right as the industry is at an inflexion point. The Neterium team is building on their experience to make a significant and long-term contribution to fighting financial crime.
The roadmap for 2023 and beyond is ready.
The ambition is here.
The message is clearly stated: becoming the global leader in sanction screening technology.