Customer Experience

IPA Member Profile: Q&A with Kathy Clark

Ubiquity's SVP of Operational Excellence Kathy Clark talks to the Innovative Payments Association about the future of fintech and how Ubiquity is helping clients chart it.
IPA Member Profile: Q&A with Kathy Clark

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Ubiquity’s SVP of Operational Excellence Kathy Clark talked to the Innovative Payments Association, a trade group dedicated to advancing electronic payments, about the future of fintech and how Ubiquity is helping clients chart it.

What is your company’s role in the payments industry?

Ubiquity helps payments industry innovators and disruptors deliver world-class customer experience through multichannel contact centers, but a significant portion of our business is devoted to managing what we call banking operations. That includes manual IDV, OFAC watchlisting screening, client or customer due diligence, fraud investigations, as well as dispute and chargeback management.

For the latter, we customize our approach by client in a way that minimizes friction for their customers while also protecting their business from compliance and fraud risk. We’re proud to be achieving a 99% or higher compliance rate across millions of touchpoints a month, which has helped us become the provider of choice for many issuing banks, processors, and digital banking challengers.

Our leadership team grew up in managed services for prepaid and emerging payments. That experience really fueled the formation of Ubiquity, which was founded 10 years ago on the firm belief that our clients and their customers deserve better than what has been traditionally offered from business process outsourcing relationships.

What kinds of payment companies do you support?

It really runs the gamut from prepaid pioneers to Banking-as-a-Service innovators to crypto cards to more traditional brands that are embracing embedded finance solutions. We understand what it takes not only to provide amazing service to cardholders who are nervous about their balance or a suspicious transaction, but we also specialize in reducing costs per cardholder and mitigating fraud losses. In the current economic environment where everything costs more, fraud (first-party and third-party) is on the rise, fintech funding is at its lowest levels since 2020, and hiring is extremely difficult, we come in to provide optimized customer experience and banking operations that help brands achieve profitability and set them up for long-term success.

Source: CB Insights Q2’22 State of Fintech Report

What kinds of special features do your products and services offer?

While we absolutely have technology solutions to optimize CX and performance management, we’re fundamentally a people business. That means we devote a lot of time and resources into employee experience. We know that when employees are empowered to do their best work—and rewarded for it—that translates to better experiences for our clients and their customers.

We’ve built and nurtured strong teams of subject matter experts that can really consult with our clients at the onset of a relationship but also in an ongoing capacity. We’re always looking for ways to do things better, and we know that in payments and fintech, our clients have to be able to adapt to changes from customers, competitors, and even regulators.

On the technology front, everything we do is about helping customers self-serve or making it easier for agents to do their jobs well. For example, we offer IVR design and optimization, a performance management platform specifically created for the contact center environment, and we incubated an artificial intelligence technology that serves as a “digital assistant” to agents while they work, prompting the next best action based on trigger words during a conversation. The AI technology has helped reduce average handle time but also minimize regulatory complaints, which our digital banking clients appreciate.

Most recently we’ve begun testing a proprietary dispute management tool, which we’ll be rolling out in Q1 2023. The tool is designed to make it easier for dispute analysts to speed up their investigation process by automating tasks and auto-populating certain fields to reduce errors, while ensuring there’s a clear audit trail, and greater visibility for clients into performance and productivity. With fraud and fraudulent disputes on the rise, we’re excited to have a more sophisticated platform for managing this sensitive work. And it was also important for us to build something that was easy to integrate with our clients tools and systems and that has enough flexibility to customize capabilities and reporting.

What kinds of companies are you looking to partner with?

Any company that puts a premium on CX, security, and compliance. None of those things should be mutually exclusive. I know everyone is tired of talking about the pandemic, but the truth is that it put into sharp relief the need for banks and digital challengers to level up their customer service. And even tech companies that have largely tried to eliminate phone conversations are coming around to the fact that there are times when customers want to talk to a person to resolve their issue–they don’t want to wade through a knowledgebase or suffer through an endless litany of choices that don’t fit their needs, or talk to a chatbot that can’t make heads or tails of their request. We see the best CX as harnessing the strengths of technology–automation, productivity, self-service–and combining it with the creativity, problem-solving, and empathy of human agents.

What do you think the future of payments holds in the next five years?

Even though we’re facing a difficult economic and funding environment right now, payments and fintech will continue to thrive as long as companies can prioritize CX and actually achieve profitability. We know that the demand for innovative financial products that help consumers get ahead has never been more pronounced, and the lines will continue to blur between financial and non-financial brands and where consumers will feel comfortable getting those services. We’re excited about what the future holds because we know that brands will find new ways to differentiate themselves through exceptional CX.

Discover how Ubiquity can help you turn CX and banking operations into growth driver.

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