WeTravel performs international KYB 100x faster and builds its ideal review process with Persona’s configurable building blocks

See how WeTravel consolidates information within Persona to verify businesses faster and streamline operations.

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WeTravel is a travel booking and payments platform for multi-day and group travel companies of all sizes. It offers an easy booking experience, allowing companies to convert bookings faster and grow their business. Additionally, it helps businesses manage their financials, payments to partners and banks, registration information, and guest communication all in one place.

Problem: WeTravel’s lengthy KYB process was causing users to abandon the signup process

The travel industry is fairly susceptible to risk-related challenges, as trips are usually planned — and money moved around — before someone actually goes on it. Unfortunately, WeTravel was experiencing this firsthand, often catching accounts created with compromised information, duplicate accounts, and more. As such, it brought on Dave Barrett, an experienced fraud fighter and KYC manager, to help protect the company.

One way WeTravel decided to mitigate risk was to implement Know Your Business (KYB) processes — in other words, verifying organizers and suppliers who wanted to use the platform. However, its first KYB attempts were extremely manual. “Our onboarding process was incredibly challenging for both sides of the process — we were collecting information via an online form and manually adding to a data spreadsheet that had grown to 18,000 rows to track that each business was truly a business and what decision was reached,” Dave explains.

Verifying businesses also involved a lot of back and forth between users as WeTravel tried to get the information it needed. “Users often gave us one piece of requested information at a time, so we had to keep emailing them asking for more,” Dave says. “Often, it could take several weeks to complete the process.”

Not only was this a lot of work for the WeTravel team — Dave explains there were days with 150 emails in their queue — but the long turnaround time was driving users away. Additionally, both WeTravel and the amount of risk-related challenges it was seeing were growing quickly. “We were exploding in terms of volume and knew our process was unsustainable.”

Dave knew if WeTravel wanted to continue scaling, it’d need a solution that could automate and streamline the KYB process. Soon after he joined the company, he and Steven, WeTravel's Lead Product Manager, began their search for an identity partner.

Our onboarding process was incredibly challenging for both sides of the process — we were collecting information via an online form and manually adding to a data spreadsheet that had grown to 18,000 rows to track that each business was truly a business and what decision was reached.
Dave Barrett
KYC Manager at WeTravel

Solution: WeTravel consolidates information within Persona to verify businesses faster and streamline operations

After evaluating a strong pool of orchestration solutions, Dave had a clear winner in mind. “I made my decision quite early. When Persona started demoing, a seed was planted and I began daydreaming about what I could do with the platform.”

While one of Dave’s colleagues preferred another provider, Dave shares that they changed their mind after hearing how two Persona customers had great things to say about different aspects of the platform.

WeTravel ultimately chose Persona for the following reasons:

Access to global data sources

To protect the business, WeTravel KYCs and KYBs both organizers who want to use its platform, and their suppliers. As WeTravel’s mission is to empower any travel company to provide life-changing experiences, it naturally needed an identity partner who could help verify individuals and businesses worldwide.

With coverage in over 200+ countries and territories, Persona helps WeTravel verify against a number of external databases — “Persona saves us a huge amount of external research time,” Dave says. “It shows us everything we need to see about people we don’t know — if their ID is real, if they’re real, if their business is real, and anything else we need.”

Rather than manually researching a company or having to connect to each country’s database individually, Dave and his team can automatically run checks against any company, no matter where they are located, with Persona handling the connections to global business registries.

Previously, we had to jump around to different places to get the information we needed. Persona gives us the power to look at every property and centralize everything. There’s no need for spreadsheets or looking at other screens or going to other locations — everything’s in one place.
Dave Barrett
KYC Manager at WeTravel

Automated, consolidated KYB

Additionally, one of the biggest problems Dave wanted to solve was the time-consuming back-and-forth with users, so he also needed a solution that could automate as much of the KYB process as possible.

“Our email queue was one of our biggest challenges — we’d have 150 emails a day just sitting there,” Dave shares. “No matter how much we chipped away, they just kept coming because we had to ask for documents and information so often.”

With Persona, all of these information requests and follow-ups are automatically triggered. “Before, it was like pulling teeth trying to get information — we’d send 15 to 30 emails a day just following up and asking for more documents or information. Now, the flow tells them what they need to submit in order to proceed. The whole process is massively improved.”

Finally, while automation is important, Dave also recognizes that sometimes you can’t automate every step of the KYB process. Knowing there’d likely be at least some need for manual review, especially for riskier cases, he wanted a solution that would streamline the review process by consolidating information into one place.

“Previously, we had to jump around to different places to get the information we needed. Persona gives us the power to look at every property and centralize everything. There’s no need for spreadsheets or looking at other screens or going to other locations — everything’s in one place.” Dave explains.

Hypercustomizable manual review hub

Once I started to learn what I could do, my brain shifted into gear, and I built Cases out exactly as I wanted it. Everything can be done with Persona — the product is very malleable and it keeps getting better, so the sky is the limit.
Dave Barrett
KYC Manager at WeTravel

At Persona, we often say we offer building blocks to power all your identity operations, from Dynamic Flow to Graph. However, this metaphor doesn’t just apply to our variety of products — it also refers to the customizability of each individual product.

As Dave’s team often performs manual reviews on top of automated verifications, they were excited to see that Persona has its own hyper-customizable manual review, case management, and investigation hub, Cases. Once the contract was signed, Dave got to work building custom statuses, checklists, email modules, SLAs, and more to make the review process as efficient as possible.

“Once I started to learn what I could do, my brain shifted into gear, and I built Cases out exactly as I wanted it. I can drag and drop the things I want — it’s very, very easy to edit, build out, and modify how it looks for my team.” Dave shares. “I didn’t need experience coding, and there’s no dev time, downtime, or technical debt, which is a big win for a small business like us.”

In fact, while building blocks is our go-to metaphor, Dave sees Cases more as a symphony. “I make music — putting virtual modular instruments exactly where I want them, building it to fit me. What we’ve done now is set Persona to fit us as a business,” he explains. “I couldn’t be happier. Everything can be done with Persona — the product is very malleable and it keeps getting better, so the sky is the limit.”

Close partnership

Finally, Dave appreciates the close partnership with Persona’s customer success team that has allowed him to request features and customize the platform. “Everything’s been spot on. Sometimes during a call, I’ll ask if we can do something, and the team will say, ‘Give me a second — we’ll just do it live right now,’” he says. “In terms of customer experience, it’s a 10 out of 10.”

Persona’s completely changed our life as a team and changed the experience for our customers. It’s perfect.
Dave Barrett
KYC Manager at WeTravel

Results: WeTravel strengthens its team and verifies businesses over 100x faster, reducing user abandonment

With Persona by its side, WeTravel now completes the KYB process in record time, offering a better experience to users and reducing drop-offs.

“The whole process is massively improved,” Dave raves. “Our onboarding process is now next level. People are surprised they’re verified already, which is fantastic. We went from averaging 2-3 weeks to 3 hours for a decision — and if a user submits everything we need and all the information is legitimate from the start, we can verify them in less than 10 minutes. As a result, we see far less abandonment.”

While this improvement is much appreciated, Dave is equally thrilled with how Persona has helped transform his team. “It’s completely changed how we process and how we operate. It’s changed our internal team experience, quality of life, and day-to-day working basis.”

One major area Persona has helped overhaul is onboarding new team members. “Previously, onboarding took 4-6 weeks,” Dave shares. “Because Persona is so intuitive to use, our most recent hire was up to speed in just 2 weeks — it simply clicks with people.”

Additionally, Dave notes that his team has three main tenets — all of which Persona has improved:

  • Alignment: “We have a particular approach to investigations, and one thing Persona’s allowed us to do is have full alignment in how we work day to day. ”
  • Accuracy: “Persona allows us to work with incredible accuracy. Our process was essentially fully manual before, and as we all know, human input can sometimes lead to errors. Persona’s automated KYB capabilities help massively in removing the chance of error.”
  • Absolute commitment: “We’re all able to see each other’s works and hold each other accountable. Persona tightens this and makes our team stronger.”

Going forward, WeTravel is excited to partner with Persona on a number of initiatives, from setting separate workflows for different use cases to conducting periodic reviews and exploring how Graph can help WeTravel fight fraud more proactively.

Whatever the future holds, Dave is confident that Persona will only continue to help WeTravel scale and operate more efficiently. “Persona’s completely changed our life as a team and changed the experience for our customers. It’s perfect.”

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