Startup Check-In

Jewel Paymentech Uses AI To Optimize Merchant Onboarding

Jewel Paymentech is helping banks get on board with faster onboarding for merchants. The startup supports financial institutions across the Asian Pacific region as these banks and other traditional players scramble to keep up with competition from newer, nimbler FinTech companies.

This month, Jewel is segueing into a new theme: leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) to drive greater onboarding capacity, thus creating the ability for traditional acquirers to onboard thousands of merchants per month instead of the hundreds they’re currently able to process.

CEO Sean Lam says the theme is about capacity creation, not job reduction. The startup is not trying to replace employees with machines, but instead looking to help banks do more of what they’re already doing — and do it better and faster than before — by rolling three of Jewel Paymentech’s products into a single offering.

First, there’s the Capture product, which optimizes the due diligence portion of the onboarding process, Lam explained. The platform provides self-signup capabilities for all types of merchants across all channels. It is similar to what PayPal offers, and very different from banks’ offerings today.

Second, there are the risk management technologies, including the cyberspace crawler that automatically reads and analyzes social posts about the merchant. If the crawler finds a lot of negative comments and complaints, Lam said, it will automatically advise acquirers to proceed with caution and perform further due diligence before onboarding this merchant.

Third, there’s the ability to control transactions through data analytics. The startup’s omnichannel management platform helps shield merchants from fraudsters by blocking fraud attempts in real time. It also weighs the possibility that the merchant may itself be the fraudster, or complicit in the crime.

For example, fraudsters may sign up for an account with a payment provider, print out its payment QR code as a sticker and place that over a QR code posted at a legitimate merchant’s point of sale, Lam said. Since transactions don’t process instantly, it can take the merchant several days to notice they’re being rerouted. Even once it notices, though, it is often unclear who is liable for the incident.

With many unbanked countries in the region looking for cheap ePayment options like QR codes to drive their cashless agendas, Lam said regulators will have to be very careful to roll out QR technology in a secure manner that doesn’t hamper consumers’ confidence in the technology.

That’s something Jewel is working to support, he added, and the company expects to be able to share more information on it in January.

TRENDING RIGHT NOW

To Top