Artesian Connect Platform (Part II)

Continuing my coverage of the new Artesian Connect platform [Part I].


Metro Bank, an early customer, deployed Connect for customer onboarding and back-book screening, complementing their Artesian Engage deployment:

“We started working with Artesian to explore ways we could introduce greater efficiency to the customer onboarding journey. We loved the idea of being able to aggregate data from a number of different sources and map our risk appetite to Artesian’s rules framework to flag issues immediately.  The result meant we could deliver a process which in some cases was 94% quicker than our existing process.”

Ronan Heeran, Financial Crime Risk & Control Manager at Metro Bank

QBE, an early insurance adopter, employed Connect for underwriting and COVID-risk checks, delivering consistent decisioning across its 200 underwriters.  According to QBE Director of Underwriting David Jones, Connect’s configurability let QBE be “proactive, rather than reactive, to changes in data for client assessment.”

Along with a rich set of news event monitoring and triggers, Artesian provides a broad set of Experian UK data, including financials, Companies House images, Gazette filings, Directors and Shareholders, Mortgages and County Court Judgements, Family Trees, and Ultimate Beneficiaries.  Artesian recently added Irish datasets from Experian.  They also offer US and Canadian profiles from a highly credible provider.

Clients can access Artesian Premium Data in Connect or opt to retain preferred vendors.  Connect also provides API connectors for Dun & Bradstreet, LexisNexis, Equifax, Refinitiv, LDC, and Graydon, with more data integrations planned.  Many financial services clients opt to feed their legacy PEP (politically exposed persons) and sanctions list vendors into Connect.

Connect supports a business rules-engine, development toolkit, and scripting engine.  Users can either work with Artesian’s technical consultants to define models or build their own decisioning and customer support tools.  Artesian employs a “3-D” solution process: Discover, Design, Demonstrate.  The 3-D process, combined with the Connect platform, allows Artesian to build complex business requirements in days or weeks, significantly faster than third-party developers.

Artesian has trademarked the term “Know-How Equation,” which describes their method of capturing “collective expertise” to “transform efficiency, efficacy, and consistency of frontline and middle office teams.” The equation is represented as

The Know-How Equation captures a company’s knowledge about its customers, business, and market in the Artesian rules-engine.  Artesian then processes structured and unstructured data to display “impactful insights and risk intelligence needed to deliver the ultimate in business acumen.”

“Artesian Connect can deliver transformational results in client acquisition, client onboarding, risk and compliance monitoring, and relationship management.  With Connect, modern frontline banking teams can rapidly merge disparate data sources, create bespoke rules for risk selection utilising rich firmographic data and, most importantly, deliver insight from unstructured data that paints a much deeper picture for client assessment.”

Artesian CEO Andrew Yates

Artesian has also updated its Engage homepage to provide a custom briefing book to clients.  Features include dynamic Connect calculations, advanced engagement signals, historical screening, and account followers.  Customers can opt for either a data-first view or a news-first view.

Like many of its peers, Artesian Solutions has thrived during the pandemic.  Their mobile push notifications have had high usage during WFH, and financial services firms have increased platform utilization due to economic dislocation and CBILS checks.  According to Yates, renewals remain strong, with gross retention in the 90s and net retention around 110%.

The firm has long been profitable, with a 9X LTV/CAC ratio (Lifetime Value to Customer Acquisition Cost).  Furthermore, customers have been integrating the Artesian platform into their workflows, with 65% of new business coming from platform-leveraged transactions.

Artesian Connect Platform

Artesian Solutions formally launched the Artesian Connect platform aimed at transforming frontline execution and effectiveness.  The platform supersedes ARCH, which was built on the same architecture as Connect.  The expanded platform now supports advanced sales engagement, customer onboarding, Insurance and credit underwriting, and relationship management.

Connect is Generally Available.

Artesian Connect includes a bespoke rules-processing engine that captures client know-how, including business rules, sales preferences, prospecting criteria, and onboarding checks.  Connect supports both Artesian’s Premium Data feeds and customer-licensed third-party data integrations. 

By combining first and third-party datasets with business rules and existing policies, the customer engagement process can be streamlined and standardized across large teams.  Some of Artesian’s customers have thousands of users, so the ability to improve efficiency without impacting the customer experience is critical to successful implementations.  

As rules and policies have been codified, employees do not need to review as much company intelligence.  Instead, decision-making is reduced to the core information.  Supported processes include sales engagement, onboarding KYC/AML, insurance policy underwriting, and business-specific steps and requirements.

Artesian Connect delivers an improved customer experience, reduced employee onboarding time, and standardized processes and rules across all team members, which is particularly important when engagement priorities and regulations change, as they did in March.

CEO Andrew Yates emphasized that Artesian’s focus is not only on data but on rules and the ability to expedite decision-making based on scores and flagged items.  A new feature, engagement signals, go beyond traditional trigger events and look at multiple recent events before offering next best action recommendations. 

Connect supports four modes:

  1. Quick Tasks such as pre-screening customers or performing a CBILS (UK SME COVID business loan) check
  2. Tracking Companies and alerting on events, opportunities, credit changes, filings, etc.  As alerts are based on company-specific rules and policies, they have greater precision than general notifications.
  3. Multi-linked Analyses that evaluate multiple recent events and determine whether a more in-depth analysis of a prospect or loan is required
  4. Other Application Calls based on customer criteria

Platform apps can be delivered via the desktop, mobile device, or a broker management system, with output such as custom proposals delivered as Word Documents or PDFs.

“Artesian Connect is pioneering a new era in modern data and insight-driven Relationship-Banking – helping commercial teams leverage their extensive know-how and by combining this with the latest advances in data science, we can empower them to do what they do best at a scale and speed never seen before,” explained Yates.


Continue to Part II. Yesterday, I covered their new Irish Dataset and expanded UK content.

Global Database Credit Reports

UK-based Sales and Risk Intelligence vendor Global Database is launching company credit checks for nineteen countries.  Credit data is gathered via APIs from leading regional European providers of company and credit data.

The new reports include credit scores and limits; payments and inquiries; mortgages, charges, and county court judgments; directors and shareholders; group structures; trading addresses; five-year financials; key performance indicators and ratios; credit score and limit histories; company identifiers (e.g. registration numbers, tax ids, tradestyles), year incorporated; auditor; and document filings.

US data includes UCC (liens), bankruptcies, and payment histories.

Coverage currently spans

  • Americas: The United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil
  • Europe: The United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Benelux, Ireland, and the Nordics
  • Asia: Japan, Thailand, Vietnam

Credit reports are available for all registered companies in the supported countries.  What’s more, coverage will grow rapidly with plans to support 120 countries by the end of the year with “instantly available credit reports.”

“By the end of Q1, we will have a credit report for every single country, including offline reports in areas where company information is much more difficult to get. Essentially, a client will make a fresh investigation request, and our partners will collect this information from on the ground sources.”

Global Database Managing Director Nicolae Buldumac

“We now offer a unified solution to our customers where they can identify their customers, get contact information for key executives, and run due diligence checks on new suppliers,” wrote Buldumac.  

Buldumac emphasized that the Global Database platform supports multiple global departments. “All this information is available in one single license, and this will save cost for many companies, as very often you need to pay a license for sales and marketing solution and another license for compliance.  Also, not many companies offer such information globally, and this is where we have a USP.”

During Q3, Global Database onboarded Amazon, Vodafone, WeWork, Dyson, and the Italian Trade Agency.  Global Database’s business has increased during the pandemic as firms look for more clients, require tools for assessing business risk, and source digital sales and marketing solutions in the absence of event marketing.

The credit risk solution will be offered both as a bundle with the existing sales and marketing platform and as a standalone product.  Pricing will depend on volume and countries, with discounts available for bundled subscriptions.

Global Database has sales and support offices in the UK and Moldova.

Artesian ARCH Compliance Released

ARCH combines firmographics, compliance flags, and credit insights into a unified company profile.
ARCH combines firmographics, compliance flags, and credit insights into a unified company profile.

Artesian Solutions, the UK Sales Intelligence vendor, has been teasing its Artesian Risk and Compliance Hub (ARCH) compliance service for over a year.  The new offering, now Generally Available, “enables relationship managers, underwriters and frontline teams within banks, insurance companies, and other financially regulated industries to quickly assess and better understand their corporate clients at the start of the customer journey and throughout the life of the customer.”

Financial services generally perform KYC / AML (Know Your Customer / Anti-Money Laundering) processing during onboarding, but ARCH moves initial processing to frontline staff at the top of the sales funnel before a client is signed.  This “distributed compliance,” helps expedite the process, sets client expectations when processing may take longer than normal, and allows relationship managers to avoid prospects that will have arduous compliance processing or which may not meet the institution’s “appetite.”  

ARCH flags risks which may require additional information from the client.  By flagging them at the outset, the RM can request the missing data before it delays onboarding.

ARCH performs event-driven reviews which begin before onboarding and continue through the life of the loan or policy.  Thus, KYC is no longer subject to periodic reviews but is performed dynamically as new information about the client is ingested by ARCH.  Instead of client reviews determined by the calendar, events can trigger full client reviews as needed.

ARCH supports commercial insurance policy writing “with a combination of data and sophisticated rules, bringing efficiency, consistency, and accuracy so that underwriters can focus on underwriting.  Decisions can be recorded whilst both justified in the future and used for decision analysis and pricing optimisation.”  Artesian’s fine-grained taxonomy and assisted machine learning help to identify potential underwriting risks “according to the predetermined definitions of an insurer.”

By moving compliance reviews to front-line workers, commercial insurers can perform a KYC check and risk evaluation prior to quoting a policy.  “One reason for using it is that they might want to look at what gets declared to them by the new customer compared to what they can see from ARCH,” said Artesian VP of Risk Solutions Matt Elsom.  “To do that they can have a look at some of the fraud-focused data sources and financial data.”

A January survey by Fenergo of global financial services executives found that poor onboarding negatively impacts client experience and reduces the lifetime value (LTV) of clients.  36% acknowledged losing customers due to onboarding issues and 84% tied the onboarding experience to reduced LTV.

“The Cost of Poor CX,” Fenergo, January 2019. N-=250 global Financial Services executives (Source: Artesian Solutions) 

Figure 2: “The Cost of Poor CX,” Fenergo, January 2019. N=250 global Financial Services executives (Source: Artesian Solutions)

Artesian noted that KYC compliance team workloads have “grown beyond all expectations” due to the availability of international ownership linkages and ultimate beneficial ownership data.  “The overall effect of this is an MLRO [Money Laundering Reporting Officer] and board being put under pressure to reduce onboarding delays whilst maintaining adherence to regulation – and the only effective solution has been to recruit more compliance analysts.  The cost associated with this approach has become unsustainable as the work queue continues to grow simply to maintain current levels of new business.”

According to Artesian, “ARCH is not only an innovative new technology, but a huge leap forward in the drive for ‘distributed compliance’ – the ability for central teams to distribute KYC and AML tasks to their frontline colleagues who are best placed to engage with the client and solve issues in the fastest, most productive way.  It places compliance and powerful risk data at the heart of the business – front of mind for every member of staff, informing every decision, instructing every interaction and shaping every relationship from pre-screening prospective new customers through to ongoing tracking and long-standing client development.”

The “configurable decision engine” monitors real-time credit risk and KYC data sets and applies bank or insurer policies to the compliance decisions.  Each client determines which data sources to ingest and “applies custom policies to that combined data in the form of multi-dimensional rules” which are screened and interpreted based upon institutional policies.  Flagged issues are delivered through a browser interface or loaded into other compliance systems via an API.

“We have the great privilege of serving 80% of the UK’s major banking institutions, providing powerful sales engagement insights to relationship managers.  We asked what we could do to make our software even more useful and the answer was ARCH. Almost two years of engineering and millions of pounds later we’re announcing ARCH’s general availability for customers.  We believe this puts Artesian in a unique position to be able to combine customer engagement capabilities together with credit and risk in one single application delivered through a browser or mobile device.”

We’ve built a strong team of specialists to extend our core competencies and have worked closely with our key partners at Experian, LexisNexis, and Refinitiv (Thompson Reuters) with more partnerships to come.  This allows our customers to select the data sources they already rely upon and trust and easily integrate them into ARCH”

Artesian Solutions CEO Andrew Yates

During a beta test with a top UK bank, ARCH decisioning was fully consistent with existing bank processing while flagging 14% more “critical risk” issues than current bank processes.  ARCH also reduced average case time from two hundred minutes to eight, “allowing relationship managers to know more, know sooner and save time – enabling them to focus on delivering a better customer experience.”

PwC recently added ARCH to its eleven-week incubator program Scale InsureTech which is “aimed at identifying and developing fast-growth technology companies in the insurance sector.”

Artesian financial services clients include RBS, Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds Bank, EY, and Marsh.

North American sales intelligence firms do not normally support client onboarding and risk assessment, but UK and European firms support these functions due to a richer set of registry data.  European vendors such as DueDil, Bureau van Dijk, and Artesian support sales, marketing, and regulatory compliance.