Branch unites KYB & KYC with Persona to onboard more businesses quickly

With Persona's KYB solution, two things that would have traditionally been at odds — onboarding customers fast and ensuring compliance with KYB standards — are a reality for Branch.

Branch helps businesses provide instant payments and fee-free financial services to empower employees and contractors. Through its bank partner, it offers workers a digital wallet backed by a fee-free checking account and free instant access to earned wages, rewards, and auto-budgeting tools to help workers manage their cash flow in between paychecks.

These transparent and equitable financial services not only help employees and independent contractors get ahead financially, but also reach underserved consumers, such as those who don’t have traditional bank accounts or lines of credit. Through these free, compelling financial services, Branch also helps companies attract and retain the best workers — a win-win for everyone involved.

Problem: Branch needed to build a Know Your Business process fast — while balancing conversion and risk

As a fintech, Branch already had a KYC process in place with Persona. However, as Branch was launching a new solution aimed at serving independent contractors, it needed to comply with a new set of regulations: know your business (KYB). Since workers who own their own businesses are regarded as both individuals and business entities, Branch needed to ensure both the contractors and their businesses were in good standing.

Solution: Persona’s platform brings the best parts of its existing KYC process to Know Your Business

Knowing Persona could help it build a Know Your Business process that would work seamlessly with its existing KYC process, Branch chose Persona for the following reasons:

Automated decisioning that balances risk and conversion

Branch wanted a KYB process that felt like a natural extension of the KYC experience in its mobile application. To add as little friction as possible, it asks contractors for a few additional pieces of information — their business name, EIN, and address — upon confirming they own a business. From there, Persona fills in the rest of the picture and helps Branch determine whether the business was legitimate.

As Amanda Hodgetts-Martin, director of risk management at Branch explains, “We don’t just make decisions based on a single report or data point. With Persona, we can easily pull in various sources based on a few key pieces of end-customer information and then make a decision on a holistic profile.”

Persona automatically enriches and verifies this submitted information so that the majority of Branch’s end-customers can start using their business accounts immediately and Branch’s team can focus on more pressing fraud investigations.

Fraud-fighting that scales with Branch’s business

To Amanda and her team, Persona’s main value is its flexibility, which is key when fighting fraud during the KYB process.

“For a fraud-fighting strategy to be successful, you just can’t set it and forget it. Persona lets us be flexible in responding to patterns we’re seeing with our end-customers. With Workflows, we can easily roll out new fraud-fighting strategies like more checks with confidence,” she says.

As Branch inevitably launches more products that will require both KYB and KYC, the risk team continues to push for automated decisioning, both in terms of the number of automated decisions and the quality of them.

In practice, this involves finetuning workflows within the Persona platform and pulling in more data sources, such as Plaid, into the decisioning process. The Branch team works directly with Persona’s product and customer success teams to ensure that Persona’s roadmap is evolving in lockstep with theirs.

An operational hub for edge cases via Cases

While Branch continues to optimize toward more automated decisions, there are always a handful of edge cases that require manual review by Branch’s fraud team.

This team, which investigates these cases, uses a customizable manual review layout Amanda built within Persona to get guidance on what to look at first. Using Cases, analysts can see all the collected and enriched information about a business and the individual(s) behind it in one place. Then, if further investigation is required, they can directly solicit more information from customers, allowing them to resolve issues in hours instead of days or weeks.

“Cases are so easy to configure. We can surface different information and put it front and center for our team, depending on why a case didn’t pass automated review. This not only makes our team more efficient, but also improves decision quality and even makes training new team members easier,” says Amanda.

Results: Branch converts more good businesses with a future-proof Know Your Business process

Thanks to Persona’s end-to-end orchestration and automation capabilities, two things that would have traditionally been at odds — onboarding end-customers fast and ensuring compliance with KYB standards — are a reality for Branch.

“We want to automate the decision making process as much as possible during KYB and KYC. Persona lets us do that and saves us time but also ensures that we can be flexible with changing our workflows and rules when we discover new fraud rings. “ says Amanda.

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