The service industry has been disrupted and ultimately undergone exponential transformations in recent years. Companies across numerous sectors are shifting their focus to engage more with customers online, whilst digitally optimizing their internal systems and reducing their overhead costs. With the increasing amount of data at hand, companies are even more empowered to deliver optimal services. Yet, it remains a challenge to ensure that this data is collected in a seamless, secure and compliant manner, though official digital mediums, to put customers’ minds at ease.
Assentify, a BDD community member, is one such company, leading the way and supporting SMEs through its unique technologies, to simplify and empower digital transformation for service businesses.
We sat with Mohamad Al Srouji (MS), CEO of Assentify, to learn more about the platform and its impact on customer engagement and retention, how it is supporting companies across different industries and why Lebanon is their chosen technology hub.
BDD: Can you tell us a bit more about the platform and its role in digital transformation?
MS: Assentify’s SaaS platform is the region’s first Digital Experience Platform digitizing the interaction of Service Business SMEs with their customers, thus improving their customer journey, enhancing their service reach and scalability, and reducing their operational overheads. Digitizing customer interactions is at the core of any digital transformation for a service business. A service business could have the best automation and internal ERP/CRM solutions but its clients only evaluate and experience their interactions with it. So even if internally everything operates digitally, it’s the customer interaction that matters. We believe it is the recipe that unlocks scalability, reach, superior customer experiences, and profitability.
BDD: What need did you identify in the market that led to the founding of Assentify?
MS: Assentify’s DXP provides all the building blocks for service businesses to theme, design, build, and launch their own unique digital experience, which their clients can interact with in minutes.
We empower them with in-house developed state of the art technologies served effortlessly through a no code, drag and drop builder that helps them verify their customers’ identity, perform an eKYC, capture dynamic data inputs and questionnaire answers. It also streamlines the processing of payments, sending notifications through various channels, digitally signing documents, executing screening and PeP checks, as well as process and execute decisions, based on these interactions.
BDD: Assentify targets SMEs. What are the needs of SMEs across the four verticals that the company seeks to fulfill?
MS: All service verticals we are targeting from Financial Institutions, Insurance Brokers, NGOs, and Rental/Leasing Companies have a need to digitize their customer interactions to scale, operate efficiently, and provide superior customer experiences in a growingly competitive market. However, they all face similar challenges. They need an efficient, seamless, simple and affordable way to build out their digital interactions platform with their clients, without having to custom develop their own applications and websites, as well as integrate third-party technology providers that will be very expensive and difficult to maintain with very low success rates. However, before even considering building their custom digital interactions, they need to overcome several challenges, which include:
- Verifying the identity of their potential clients remotely
- Proving the liveness of their clients
- Ensuring the authenticity of provided identification documents and documents
- Implementing a simplified way to remain compliant with all the necessary checklists screening, KYC procedures, and AML procedures
- Conducting all or most of their client interactions remotely including acquiring data, completing questionnaires, performing payment, and even signing contracts
Assentify has managed to crack all of the above challenges and provide a simple, affordable, and scalable way for these service businesses to transform into digital service business providers overnight.
BDD: So what users can expect to have access to?
MS: Our first release of the Assentify Digital experience platform extends complete support to Financial Institutions as well as NGOs. We are building out additional modules such as automated proposal generation and insurance offer acquisition to support Insurance Brokers as well as AI powered asset management and asset viewer to support rental/leasing companies.
Subscribers of the platform will be able to access four main components:
- Flows Builder– which allows businesses to build flows based on three different blocks:
- Engagement Block – A white label, easily customizable, fully responsive web based flow accessible by the businesses’ current and potential clients that can process identification documents, verify identity through face capture and matching with provided identification document, acquire address and location data, capture data points and answers on questionnaires, capture documents and images, as well as digitally/electronically sign documents.
- Connector Block – A supporting block that performs all the interaction status changes and allows businesses to customize the notifications for their customers and employees after the completion of each block with a fully dedicated email template builder.
- Backend Block – A back office block that provides a dynamic engine allowing businesses to customize different decisions for each interactions while including pre-processing and post processing administrative tasks.
- Document Template Builder– Allows businesses to define their document templates for the documents they use as part of their interactions with their clients such as contracts, NDAs, proposals, etc.
- Interactions– Enables the employees of the business to digitally process and make audited decisions on all the current customer interactions.
- Flows Management– Grants businesses the option to expose their flows through links, buttons, or QR codes that their clients can access and interact with.
BDD: Can you give us an example of how Assentify has delivered tangible and positive outcomes to a business?
MS: Let’s take two current verticals that we have launched the platform for and more specifically two of the Early Adopter Program participants one from each of the verticals we are serving.
Cadmos Finance, a company based in France, is a financial institution onboarding DAO investors onto their investment platform. They require a streamlined, secure, and accurate way to onboard investors onto their platform, perform KYC, execute automated screening and checklists verification while remaining compliant.
If they did not have access to Assentify they would have had to build their own onboarding flow and rely on several technology providers such as Regula to process ID documents, which will be expensive and time consuming without any guaranteed results. They would also have to rely on third-party KYC providers that are not dynamic and provide a rigid non-customizable onboarding process
Both options are time consuming to implement, expensive to develop and maintain, and do not offer the complete results.
Assentify was used to integrate with their platform seamlessly, emailing investors wishing to onboard a link with an onboarding flow fully themed to the branding of Cadmos Finance to complete the onboarding process, verify their identity, and sign the platform contract. Cadmos Finance was able to build and test their onboarding flow in a couple of hours and integrate the acquired data back into their platform with ease due to our secure and accessible data APIs.
BDD: And how have you supported NGOs?
MS: In terms of NGOs, we are collaborating with Beit El Baraka, based in Lebanon. It supports several programs that have a great impact on the Lebanese society. One of these programs provides in need students with scholarships to start and continue their university education. Currently, the applications and follow-up for this program are performed manually. Students fill out application forms that are then collected by their schools and transferred to Beit El Barraka representatives, who manually enter all the responses and information onto their internal ERP, scan the associated supporting documents, and complete their data findings so that a committee can render their decision.
After the decision is made and the selected candidates are awarded the scholarship, a contract is emailed which the candidates have to sign and scan back. Every semester, Beit El Baraka has to follow-up with the sponsored students to perform a full review manually mostly reaching out by phone or sending emails and collecting pieces of information through different mediums to renew the status of these students.
With Assentify’s DXP this becomes extremely simple, secure, transparent, and well managed and frees up the staff at Beit El Baraka to focus on what’s important, in making an impact on our society. The whole application and decision process is fully digitized and online from identify verification of the student to collecting all the personal information, reasons for being selected, and original transcripts and supporting documents. Decisions are made in the back office where all the data is already digitized and accessible, and these decisions are tracked and auditable.
Once confirmed from the back office, an email is automatically sent to the applicant informing them the decision and proceeding with an authenticated digital/electronic contract signing when the sponsorship is awarded. Even the follow-ups are automated, every three months, the DXP platform automatically emails a follow-up flow for the students that is processed by the staff at Beit El Baraka to renew the sponsorship or abort it in case of any issues, change of status, or infringements.
BDD: Why have you opted to set up your technology / R&D hub in Lebanon? And specifically in BDD?
MS: Prior to launching Assentify, we searched for the best location that could house Assentify and provide all the requirements for a tech company to flourish. We also were keen to be part of a community, where team members could have the best environment, and a space that allowed us to focus on innovation and solving challenges for our customers, rather than solving daily challenges faced in Lebanon today.
After an exhaustive search, BDD was the only space that offered just that. It provided an amazing campus with great services and a supportive team that can help a startup network, expand and flourish.
We chose Lebanon because I still am a firm believer that the talent that exists in Lebanon today, is amongst the best talent in the world and just requires the right guidance, support, and grooming to unlock their potential. Lebanon remains an affordable location to source talent, test a startup, and scale regionally and even globally.
To learn more about the innovative power of Assentify’s platform, visit https://www.assentify.com